Campus News

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News Release

February 14, 2005

U of G Graduate Wins Grammy

A University of Guelph graduate won a Grammy Award Sunday for his art design on an album by an alternative rock band.

Peter Buchanan-Smith, a 1995 bachelor of arts graduate in fine art, won for best album packaging for his work on A Ghost Is Born by the group Wilco.

“I haven’t really had time to stop and think about what winning a Grammy ‘really’ means,” said Buchanan-Smith, who shared the award with Dan Nadel, co-art director for the album design. “But I do know that, in the current pop music climate, it’s especially nice that an unconventional album design like ours could win such recognition. I hope this gives hope to others that good design can make a difference and that creative risk-taking can pay off.”

The cover art features a white egg on a grey background. A Ghost Is Born was also named the year’s best alternative album at the 47th annual Grammy Awards. Buchanan-Smith, who also wrote a book about Wilco, credits the band for being “the inspiration for many of my creative endeavours.”

Buchanan-Smith also said the time he spent at U of G as a fine art student in Zavitz Hall was “a real turning point in my creative life.” He thanked his professors, especially retired faculty member Chandler Kirwin, for their “guidance, generosity and inspiration.”

After graduating from U of G, Buchanan-Smith earned a master’s degree at New York City's School of Visual Art. Currently, he is the creative director at Paper magazine in New York and is continuing to work on other book and music packaging and design projects.

He and his wife, Amy, live in the East Village of Manhattan. His father, Jock Buchanan-Smith, is a retired U of G animal and poultry science professor.

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