Alberta University of the Arts

The Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts) is an invaluable contributor to arts, culture, and education. Amongst its long list of accolades, it is the longest-running international art program in Calgary. Founded in 1926, the University is also home to the Illingworth Kerr Gallery, AUArts’ younger yet highly mature sibling who just celebrated 60 years in 2018. Exhibit Studio has been proud to collaborate with IKG for the last four of those years, providing removable wall graphics and installation.

According to its website, the gallery is “a community of thinkers, shapers, makers, and risk takers.” Their large-format designs and exhibit descriptions live up to this and always complement their exhibition installations beautifully. The graphics must work with, not against, the beautiful creative pieces, and the gallery team does an outstanding job.  

For our part, printing and installing wall graphics within an art gallery is dramatically different from installing corporate graphics. The materials, quality, care, and attention are the same, but the timelines are very different, and flexibility is essential. Teams must follow a structured schedule to ensure that one exhibit transitions into the next with relative ease, but coordinating with the other people involved in the project is also crucial for a favourable outcome.

When we started working with IKG, the gallery team was looking for a trusted partner that could provide them with stunning, high-quality removable graphics that fit within their budget and could withstand the demand of short deadlines and high expectations.

Cassandra Paul, Exhibitions and Programs Coordinator, was kind enough to provide insight into her relationship with Exhibit Studio.

  • Before Exhibit Studio, we were working with companies who didn’t offer installation, and it always ended up being a last-minute job for our team to get the vinyl installed when we were already swamped installing an exhibition. Because we had to install the vinyl ourselves, we were also much less ambitious with our designs, knowing the challenges of installing large and complex graphics. Tyler has been an absolute dream to work with and has installed everything from lengthy text didactics, large format graphics, and an 80′ timeline that spanned the length of the gallery. 

What made our product or service stand out against our competitors?

  • We love working with the wall noodle available through Exhibit Studio. We install and deinstall graphics regularly with changing exhibitions, and the adhesive on wall noodle doesn’t damage our paint or walls and even allows for reapplication of the graphic elsewhere; some of our favourite graphics are re-installed in our offices and backspace. We also really value the relationship we have with the whole Exhibit Team – they are very accommodating, working within our budget, advising on complex designs, checking our files, and Tyler always installs on time and exceeds all our expectations.

How have you benefited from using our product or service?

  • Working with Exhibit has been a wonderful partnership that’s enabled us to better support the artists we work with. We work with Exhibit Studio for all of our exhibition didactics that communicate an artist’s concepts and ideas; large-format, bold graphics for our title walls that draw audiences into our exhibitions; as well as more experimental, participatory design for community engagement.

Working with IKG over the last four years has been a wonderful experience and really shows off what our graphic installation team at Exhibit Studio can really do.

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