Valedictorian: ‘We all have futures thanks to HSAD’
By Olivia Robinson
Published May 31, 2018
Outside, it was a grey afternoon at the Haliburton School of Art + Design for the May 25 convocation, but valedictorian Amy Black’s speech made the day brighter.
Black credited her cohort’s diverse backgrounds and experiences for how they’ve been able to support one another in their academic and creative ventures.
“We all have past stories, and now, we all have futures thanks to HSAD.”
Black recalled the all-too-common disparaging remarks levelled at students who choose creative career paths.
When she was five, Black told her teacher that she wanted to be an artist when she grew up. Her teacher smiled and said “that’s a cute idea.” In Grade 7, another teacher told her she needed a more realistic goal.
“To this day I’m still letting her down,” joked the Haliburton County native.
Black graduated from the integrated design diploma program and she was honoured at the HSAD convocation with an Integrated Design Diploma for Graphic Excellence.
Black encouraged her classmates to celebrate their achievements in all the programs offered at the Haliburton campus: artist blacksmith, ceramics, digital image design, drawing and painting, expressive arts, fibre arts, glassblowing, integrated design diploma, jewelry essentials, moving image design, photo arts, sustainable building design and construction, and visual and creative arts diploma.
The May 25 convocation marked the first of eight ceremonies for Fleming College. Ceremonies are also held at the Frost, Kawartha Lakes, and Peterborough campuses. The Haliburton campus convocation celebrated 137 graduates, with several students achieving multiple diplomas or certificates.
In an address to graduates, faculty member Kim Lee Kho empathized with Black’s sentiment about the passion of working in the creative sector. In turn, she offered advice to the graduating class about how to avoid burnout.
“Like bank accounts, you can’t make endless withdrawals without making deposits as well. So go ahead and pour yourself into your work – mind, body, and soul – and rest,” she said. “Nourish yourself in body and spirit. Look for joy inside and outside your work and then your life will sustain you.”