Although some IBDP visual arts art workshops try to include some element of art-making or art-investigation during the workshop, its often difficult to make this a really effective and/or productive part of the workshop programme.
The last five day summer workshop I was involved in was five years ago – in Athens in 2008 – when I was one of three workshop leaders and 75 art teachers from all over the world, and participants did indeed create an astonishing range of artistic responses to being in Athens: the last session was given over to them to show and explain the art they had made over the past five days.
The following summer I was in Birmingham with a 25 group-maximum, and since then IBDP visual arts workshops in the Europe, Africa and Middle East have been smaller affairs, sometimes with a handful of participants. Participants often do not have art-making materials and the workshop location is frequently not conducive to art-making (e.g. sessions held in a conference centre or hotel).
However, there is one annual IBDP visual arts workshop that is held in a uniquely creative, beautiful and art-friendly location. Its located in part of an art-making facility, where
there are purpose built and fully equipped studios for printmaking, painting and drawing, ceramics, and a dark-room, and the buildings are set in idyllic countryside.
The workshop is held every July in the south of France, is fully authorized by the IB, and I returned just over a week ago, having enjoyed a great week of art-education discussions and exchanges, and also some fantastic art-making opportunities.
Its a long way away but if you would like to know more about this workshop, visit http://summer.tasis.com/page.cfm?p=375
Images: all the photographs were taken by me in Les Tapies July 2011.