Drawings from
B.C. Institute of Technology, 1976-81

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In 1976, when I was 25, I was hired by the Student Association of the BC Institute of Technology to run its Publications Department, which at that time produced a weekly student newspaper and a yearbook. Over the next few years, I expanded it into a complete print shop with an AB Dick 360 offset press, a proper graphics darkroom with a process camera, and other accoutrements of the trade, including two Compugraphic typesetters, a folder, a cutter, a waxer, a proper light table and everything else required in that pre-digital age. We did a lot of the flyers for BCIT itself, typeset and printed its in-house newsletter, designed business cards for students and were generally flat-out busy.

I was hired partly because I could draw and write as well as do the production and supervision of the students who volunteered on the newspaper. It became a wonderful experience (the second and last salaried "permanent" job I ever had, following my brief early career as a postman) on a campus full of young students, most of whom were my age or a few years younger. I quit working full-time for the Student Association in 1979 but continued part-time doing projects, such as an orientation guidebook, and a lot of drawings for its and BCIT's publications. By that time I was drawing cartoons for the dailies, as seen here.

I finally exited BCIT about 1985 after several years teaching an evening course for the institute called Advertising: Creative Print. By that time, I was writing the big history books and never looked back.

I left all the originals behind. Don Wright, one of the student reporter/photographers on The Link newspaper, scooped up some of the drawings and posters when my successor was doing an office-cleaning and managed to keep them all these years. Don took over the Publications Manager job about 1982 and stayed for 10 years before moving on and becoming the Regional Activism Coordinator for Amnesty International in Vancouver. I had no contact with him until a month ago (that is, May, 2015) through Facebook; the arrival in town of another friend from that period, Robert Owen, prompted us to get together for dinner and Don presented me with his stash of my old stuff, which was quite overwhelming.

I've since donated all of them to the BCIT archives, which has done a great job of digitizing the old newspapers and books from the last 50 years.

So, with little further comment, a selection of what I was up to in the late 1970s...

"Grease Night" with Teen Angel and the Rockin' Rebels, 1977. The only quick and affordable way to make posters was to draw them onto tracing paper and get them reproduced at a blueprint shop down the street.

Like UBC and SFU, BCIT had (and probably still has) a cabin at Whistler, which was a sleepy ski-bum village at that time, perfectly suited to the climate of lust and other forms of recreation.

During the 1979 federal election campaign, we got word at the last minute (maybe 3 or 4 days in advance) that the Prime Minister would visit BCIT. I threw this poster together (with apologies to Roy Peterson, whose pose of Trudeau I redrew) and got it run off at the blueprint shop.

We were told to vacate the publications office as it had to be wired up with telephones for all the reporters who were following Trudeau on the campaign trail. A B.C. Tel installer spent a day hooking up about 20 phones, scattering them across all our work surfaces.

It was another era ... a few people had car phones, but it wasn't until about a decade later that cell phones the size of a brick began to be carried by reporters and other important people.

The student brain ...

An unused cover idea for Peter Renner's The Instructor's Survival Kit, which I probably recycled as a newspaper illustration.

A banner for the downtown campus flyer...

An engineer's tools of the trade, including the fabulous, newly invented electronic calculator!

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Artwork and text ©Michael Kluckner 1976-81
All rights assigned to BCIT, 2015

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