Look through the window what do you see?


Sheridan’s Visual Merchandising Arts, (VMA) students spend two years perfecting the art of “pleasing the eye.”

They even take their skill and showcase it around Sheridan.

masonphoto-1Ever wonder what the 10 display cases sitting single file in front of Tim Horton’s are?

Or the big glass box that housed the inspiration of David Bowie and Blondie?

The students of the VMA program are tasked with creating these windows regularly.

“The windows are changed every week mostly, but depending on what we are assigned they can also be changed every two weeks,” said Molly Beveridge, a second year VMA student
The VMA program opens up many avenues for its students.

Students can go into home staging, merchandising or set designing after Sheridan.

The windows must cater to all avenues of interest, both for the designer and Sheridan’s population.

Andrea Phillips, a second year VMA student lists: Victoria secret, the twentieth century and jewelry as a few examples of the themes they are tasked to display.

You may find yourself quickly glancing at the display, but the process into creating them, is far from a quick one.
masonphoto-3Before hitting the halls, the display must go througha series of stages and people.

It begins with the professors.

They decide the weekly themes, and the students are tasked with coming up with the individual windows for that theme.

“Professors arrive at themes for display in response to industry trends that are current and relevant,” said Louise Franklin, VMA coordinator.

“The criteria for each window assignment builds on particular themes, skills and situations students will design for when they enter in a visual merchandising career.”

From there the students have to come up with two ideas that must translate into sketches.

“It’s a very specific process,” said both Beveridge and Phillips.

After the sketches are complete, the students must get their idea signed off by the professors.

DSC_0707It’s unfortunate because we are students and a lot of the stuff we do have to pay for, but at the same time someone makes the words by hand,” said Beveridge.

Once their wallets are emptied, they dive straight into the creative process.

Not only do the VMA students have to envision the display, they must obtain propsand items they will need to make their vision a reality.

If need be, the students will build their props.

“We also have a prop room which provides a wide selection of materials, mostly everything we would need for the window,” said Beveridge.

The VMA students are allotted about four hours every Tuesday afternoon to  put the display together.

“It can take longer if there is problems,” said Phillips.

Beveridge emphasizes though there is strict process, there isno strict formula to creating the final product.

“Everyone has their own way of doing it.”

Now the displays aren’t for Sheridan’s eyes only.

The students are required to take photos of their final product to hand in for marks, as well as a portfolio if they desire.