Recent Posts by Andrew Vaughan

The Art of Protest

'Raising awareness' Art can do many things, and recently – certainly since the 1980s – we’ve seen a lot of artists focus on one thing in particular: the art of protest (or ‘raising awareness’). With seemingly more and more things to protest about and the ever-growing reach and power of social media to inform etc, ‘art’ has become the go-to vehicle to express angst, anger, frustration etc. and to ‘raise awareness’. We are more familiar now with a whole range of ecological and ...

Six Comparative Study Questions from Students (with Answers)

I have received some questions about the Comparative Study from visual arts students. I can obviously answer them individually, but it might be more useful to others if I share the questions – and my answers – more publicly, in this blog… 1 What does function and purpose mean? Is it the purpose of the artist or the artwork? The focus of the Comparative Study is the ARTWORK. However, having said that, since the artist makes the artwork there will be overlaps, so ...

Its All about RELATIONSHIPS (Thematic or Stylistic) in Your Visual Arts Exhibition

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... I started teaching DP Visual Arts a little over thirty years ago, in Tanzania, in the 1980s (at ISM). At that time both the IB and ISM were relatively new – the IB started in 1968 and ISM started in 1969. I was entering a new stage in my life:  living in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, going on regular safaris into the Serengeti, learning about a new school, a new country, new ...

Curious Curatorial Rationales

Curatorial issues As an examiner I've  read a lot of curatorial rationales over the last few weeks, and I wanted to share some rationale-related reflections. If you are a Visual Arts student in your first year (and in a May session school) then in around 9 months – or before – you will be writing one…  The words of the top HL Curatorial Rationale descriptor There are two strands – but many students hardly even address one. “…fully justifies the selection and arrangement of the ...

Academic Honesty: Acknowledge Everything!

I’m a visual arts examiner, so recently I have had the pleasure of looking at and assessing a wide range of uploaded visual arts work. It is one of the best parts of the job, and I really enjoy seeing the fantastic work submitted by creative and productive students from all over the world! "Reworking" Images As an examiner I regularly encounter "reworked" images that have either been directly copied from images found on the internet or are an adjusted/modified version of the ...

Become a Visual Arts Examiner!

Hi all, Like all May session Visual Arts teachers, a few weeks ago I uploaded a variety of files from my final year students - for assessment and moderation - to IBIS. If you teach IBDP Visual Arts, at some point you are going to do this: let go of your students’ work and offer it up to some distant and anonymous examiners and moderators, who will scrutinise the work, assess it (according to the descriptors for each of the three components) ...

‘My work looks like a child did it compared to all the other students in my class with experience’

This month my post is a reply to a heartfelt comment written by a student. As you may know, its possible to leave comments after a blog post, and on 1st April a student made a comment in response to a post titled 'EXHIBITION ISSUES (part 3)' from August 2016. The comment did not refer directly to issues discussed in this particular blog (the ‘theme’, the curatorial rationale, optional supporting photographs etc.) but he was clearly venting! I have included the whole comment at ...

7 Points from the Visual Arts Subject Report

The Visual Arts Subject Report for the last May session is in the shops now! (Not really – see the end of this post for how to get it.) This document is not a hypothetical aspirational document; it’s more of a reaction to and reflection on the things that you (teachers) uploaded for assessment. It’s a report and its based directly on the experiences of examiners, so it is valuable in a real and practical sense. It can be an interesting and revealing ...

Process Portfolio Questions from Students: Part 2

Last month I answered some questions that students had asked me about the Process Portfolio. I have had a few more questions since then, so here are answers to the most recent PP questions. MORE questions — and answers — about the Process Portfolio 1 'I like painting, so most of my intentions are just to create paintings, but my teacher says this intention is "not enough". Why not?' In terms of media, you cannot just focus on one medium/technique in the Process Portfolio. ...

Everything you always wanted to know about the Visual Arts upload process…but were afraid to ask

Ibis Yes, its time! Gather your files/digital documentation of student work and go to IBIS! No, not the bird: I mean IBIS: the International Baccalaureate Information System (https://ibis.ibo.org/)   Collect your students' files, take a deep breath, stay calm, try not to get flustered or exasperated...its UPLOAD time! Here is your upload overview/guide to enlightenment, with instructions, reminders, advice, file information and dates and deadlines...what more could you want? *** Don't be confused when you see two dates (e.g. 20 April/20 October). April is for most 'May session' ...