What Price Freedom of Expression?

It would be stretching things to call me a rebel, or subversive, or even a dissident, but I have recently had my words censored! Well, OK, maybe not 'my' words exactly, but the words of a student in two pages of a book I co-authored together with S. Poppy and J. Paterson, The Visual Arts Course Companion (Oxford University Press, 2017). What happened? Large sections of two pages were obscured by what looks like brown paper, because the Chinese authorities clearly took exception ...

Virtual Assessment, Contemporary Art – and Predicted Grades

It’s August, which means that most final year visual arts students – and their teachers – now know how they did in terms of DP grades. I hope all went well. All the following relates to the current/-‘old’ course (Final exams 2015). With our subject in particular I think it’s important to acknowledge that it may be impossible to avoid all discrepancies in assessments – e.g. variations between what you think the correct mark is and what the examiner thinks. There a ...

The NEW visual arts course

  In my last blog I made some mention of the new DP visual arts course and suggested the 'top 4' differences between the current and the new course, but it’s probably about time to start talking about it in a bit more detail. Hopefully quite a few of you will already have participated in a workshop, either online or face-to-face. IB Diploma Programme subjects usually have a seven year lifespan. The current visual arts course (started in 2009) still obviously has ...

The Persistence of Pollock

In my last blog I talked about the regular appearance of Barbies in DP visual arts exhibitions. Following on from that – art styles/techniques that appear fairly regularly - an even more frequent offender is art that has been strongly influenced by the technique one particular abstract expressionist – and yes, I’m talking about Jackson Pollock, aka Jack the Dripper (1912–1956). Each session visual arts examiners tend see artworks that are the result of a process of splash, spatter and/or drip ...

COMPARING OLD AND NEW: SIMILARITIES (Visual Arts courses)

In my last post, (Are you ready for the new visual arts course?)  I encouraged teachers to attend a visual arts workshop to learn all about the new course - which many (including me) will be teaching next month. For those new to the DP a comparison with the old (but still current) course may have no relevance, but if you have been and are teaching the ‘2009 onwards’ course, it may be useful to note similarities/differences. Here I am going to ...

REFLECTION TIME FOR SOME, THE END FOR OTHERS

Hi students! FINAL YEAR? If you are in the 2nd year of your IBDP visual arts course, and in a school in the northern hemisphere, for you it’s just about over. The deadline for the final digital upload is April 10th (October 10th for southern hemisphere schools) so by now your teacher should have digital files of all your selected studio work and workbook pages saved somewhere safe – possible already uploaded to IBIS. Maybe you have already had your exhibition – if ...

CREATIVE ART SUMMER SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS

3 WEEK CREATIVE ART SUMMER SCHOOL in the Ardèche (South of France) (Saturday 28 June - Saturday 19 July) Following on from the last visual arts blog which pointed students in the direction of a one or two week summer school in Italy, I thought I'd tell you about a fantastic three week summer school in the South of France! It’s March and summer might seem a long way away - but now is the time to consider what great – and in ...

Did you know there was a DP student VIRTUAL ART GALLERY?

Actually there are TWO virtual art galleries, one showcasing student art from around 1997 – 2007 and the other from 2009 to the present. Here are four examples of DP student artwork over the last 10 years, two images taken from each site. Neither is password protected and both galleries contain a large and varied assortment of student art from schools all over the world, with work in ceramics, drawing, mixed media, ‘computer’, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture etc, arranged either according to ...

The IB Learner Profile

The IB Learner Profile characterises how YOU should aim to be with regards to education and learning. It strives to teach people how to be 'life long learners' - education does not finish once your diploma has finished and it give you skills that should last you a life time. It is also aimed at YOU (or everyone) - whether you are in grade 1, grade 5, grade 12, a teacher, a parent or an administrator or school governor. But what ...

Back to school (and writing about art)

Hey ho, Tuesday is the first day of the 2012-2013 school year, welcoming back returning students and greeting the new ones. In my year 1 DP visual arts class I have a mixture of both, but either way I’ll start with some revision exercises as well as looking at how we discuss and/or write about art. The returning students had me in grade 10 so they already have had some encounters with written and verbal art analysis, but it plays an important ...