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Ara students showcased in new city arts space

06 October, 2022

Pitch, the annual graduate exhibition for Visual Communication Design students, attracts industry and the local creative community.

Pitch is being held off campus for the first time in a decade

An explosion of creative ideas has moved into Worcester Boulevard’s Toi Auaha with more than thirty Ara Institute of Canterbury - Te Pūkenga Visual Communication Design students ‘exploring the edges of contemporary visual culture’.

Pitch, the annual graduate exhibition for third-year students in the degree programme, showcases the full range of communication design, including brand, advertising, motion design, digital design, print publications, product packaging and more.

Team Leader – Visual Communication Design, Carl Pavletich, says the exhibition is the result of months of hard work. “It’s essentially the concentration of three years of learning into one public and industry event. It's a launching pad and showcase for students to land internships with industry,” he says.

This is the first year in over a decade that the exhibition has been held off-campus, with Te Auaha (formerly Rolleston House), the Christchurch City Council’s new studio complex and community arts hub the perfect setting.

Spaces taken up by the Pitch exhibition will soon be offered to local creatives

“The objective has been to connect with our local creative industry,” Pavletich says. “So being able to locate ourselves in the cultural precinct, just across the road from the Arts Centre, and minutes away from the Christchurch Art Gallery and other cultural institutions is a real highlight.”

The exhibition also coincides with expressions of interest opening for creatives to take up space in Toi Auaha which translates to ‘the origin’ or ‘genesis of creativity’.

Christchurch City Council Community Arts Advisor Jamie Hanlon says it’s a great opportunity for different audiences to see the students’ outstanding work and familiarise themselves with Toi Auaha at the same time.

“It’s amazing to see the space come to life with Ara-Te Pūkenga students and people from the creative sector stopping by and meeting friends and colleagues,” he says. “For us it’s a perfect signal of how we want Toi Auaha to operate. The house will be an incubator of talent and a space for spontaneous connection and collaboration.”

Each project is underpinned by academic and human-centred research, using design process to solve problems young people experience today. Groundbreaking ideas are explored in sustainability, social interaction, cultural awareness and business promotion to name a few.

Hanna Ymbong’s project aims to encourage students to embrace solitude

Hanna Ymbong set out to find a way to encourage students to experience intentional solitude for wellbeing and as healthy way to escape the noise of the world.

“My project ‘Solo’ includes suggestion cards for ‘solo dates’ to kick start time alone and a journal to help track thoughts and observations,” she says.

“I wanted to make it look colourful because people tend to have very black and white views on solitude,” says Philippines-born Ymbong who adds that the benefits of time out alone are huge.

Amberley Gould’s work offers options for students to understand and navigate stress

Amberley Goulden’s work ‘Order Disorder’, which includes an app as well as hands-on tools such as a magnetic memo board aims to help guide students through the chaos of life.

“Order Disorder acknowledges life can get busy and navigating that looks different for everyone,” Goulden says.

Both students say having their work ‘out there’ was daunting but exciting and rewarding.

“Opening night was so scary with industry representatives here,” Goulden says. “But overall, it’s been really positive to get feedback on my work.”

Pavletich says the students' work will be viewed by hundreds of people from the creative industry, over the next fortnight, including future employers likely to be offering internships in the coming weeks.

Pitch at Toi Auaha will be open to the public from 10.00am to 4pm every day until the 16th of October.