May 2, 2013 - 7:24am

When Brian Kingzett was looking for a new, unique t-shirt design to help promote the Deep Bay Marine Field Station he knew who to call.

Kingzett contacted Vancouver Island University visual arts professor Gregory Ball to see if his printmaking students could help.

“It was a great opportunity for students to test their skills,” says Ball. About 20 students put their design skills to work in a friendly class competition.

“Students in printmaking go through rigorous instruction learning how to develop sketches into high quality prints,” explains Ball.

“Brian Kingzett and I thought it was a great idea for the students to visit VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station and get a complete tour of the facility. It’s the kind of research that every artist does before they begin to work.”

Ball says he wanted the students to recognize how crucial it is to know a subject really well before they put pen to paper or in this case ink to screen.

“They came back from the field trip totally inspired and ready to work on their ideas for the project,” says Ball. “It was exciting to see how each student had their own unique concept about Deep Bay and how they were able to execute their imagery using the screen printing techniques they learned over the term.”

Several prints were short-listed and the winning design by student Amanda Key was selected. Key was presented with her award April 23 - a $150 gift certificate for art supplies at the VIU bookstore, plus fame and glory.

“Deep Bay is a beautiful place and it was wonderful to visit,” says Key, who will return to VIU in September to complete the final year of the Bachelor of Arts, Major in Graphic Design program. “I am happy that my design was chosen to represent somewhere so interesting.”

Ball says the class produced “some exceptional designs” and it was not easy selecting a winner. He often looks for experiential hands-on learning opportunities for his students.

“I think it is really important that, as instructors, we are open to new possibilities for our students and we are willing to adapt our curriculum to explore new ways of teaching and learning,” he says. “This is particularly true for all things involved in print media and that’s one of the reasons why I love to teach students printmaking.”

T-shirts sporting the new design will be sold at the VIU Bookstore and at the Deep Bay Marine Field Station with all proceeds going towards the public education program at the station.

Kingzett and Ball plan to run an annual design competition every spring semester with printmaking students.

“We try to engage and involve students from a variety of VIU departments in many aspects of the field station’s activities,” adds Kingzett. “We’ve had Culinary arts students help out at our events, Fisheries and Aquaculture students volunteering at our recent open house, and Resource Management Officer Technician students creating interpretive signage for our displays. Recently, students from Visual Arts ran a month long art show at the station.

“There are many ways for students to get involved. The more interdisciplinary, the better.”

VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station is open to visitors daily from 10 am to 4 pm. Visitors can take a self- guided tour of the facility, enjoy the panoramic views of Baynes Sound, view the aquarium and touch tanks, and learn about marine conservation issues and how to protect the environment. During certain times of the year, visitors can observe research underway in labs from the viewing mezzanine. Regular admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children, or $15 for a family of four (two adults, two children)

For more information, visit



Janina Stajic, Manager, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.740.6288 E: Twitter: @VIUNews

Tags: In the Community

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