Haliburton School of Art + Design Valedictorian Amy Black feels “fortunate” to have an amazing art school in her hometown

amy-black-focus-on-flemingValedictorian Amy Black didn’t have to look far for a leading arts education. Born and raised in Haliburton, Amy feels fortunate that she could earn her diploma at the Haliburton School of Art + Design.

“I am incredibly fortunate to have such an amazing art school in my hometown and was able to study what I love so close to home,” she said. “The school itself is truly amazing. The environment is constantly filled with good vibes and pure talent. My overall experience with HSAD was absolutely incredible. I have gained so many memories and friends that will last a lifetime.”

Amy took the Integrated Design diploma program, which focuses on the fundamental design skills and critical thinking abilities to become a successful designer in any design discipline.

“It was an amazing introduction to design and the different fundamentals of art combined,” she explained. “I also chose this program because I really admire [program coordinator] Barr Gilmore for teaching something he is so passionate about and has firsthand experience with the working field of design.”

Reflecting on her time in the program, Amy said she particularly enjoyed a class field trip to a local thrift warehouse to discuss the sentimental value people place on “stuff.” She also loved her fibre arts project from her first week in the program, where she covered a retro chair in old jean material and flower print pants. “It was one of my coolest pieces throughout the whole year,” Amy said. “The school actually had it in their Maker Space for a while.”

As part of the Integrated Design program, students also have the opportunity to earn an art certificate. They can chose from the following Haliburton School of Art + Design certificate programs: Artist Blacksmith, Ceramics, Digital Image Design, Drawing and Painting, Fibre Arts, Jewellery Essentials, Glassblowing, Moving Image Design, Photo Arts, Sculpture, or Sustainable Building Design and Construction.

Amy decided to take the Photo Arts program for her certificate, explaining, “I myself have a love for photography. Ever since high school I have loved taking pictures. I chose the Photo Arts program because it is a traditional darkroom approach to photography and I really wanted to learn how it was done.”

Amy said that through her post-secondary education, she has developed a lot of technical skills through hands-on experience. “I wasn’t very computer savvy and now I’m what they call a ‘pro,’” she laughed.

As she bids farewell to the Haliburton Campus, receiving both a diploma in Integrated Design and a certificate in Photo Arts, Amy delivered the Valedictorian address at the convocation ceremony on Friday, May 25. Through wit and sarcasm, Amy hopes her speech reflects light, relates to her peers, and leaves graduates feeling proud of what they achieved.

Amy said she would “100% recommend” the Integrated Design diploma to anyone with a love for art and design in need of direction to find their style and passion. Her career goal after graduation is to continue her photography journey and work for a fashion magazine.