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 ...

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' ...

The Shape of Things to Come (in 2022)

The Visual Arts Curriculum Review—and the Shape of Things to Come! Things to Come, via YouTube The Shape of Things to Come is a work of science fiction by H. G. Wells, published in 1933, which speculates on future events from 1933 until the year 2106. In the book, a world state is established as the solution to humanity's problems. (Wikipedia)   Actually, ‘the shape of things to come’ - in the context of this blog - is more specifically related to the ...

Process Portfolio Checklist

HAPPY 2018! It’s the New Year! If you are in your second year as a DP visual arts student, and are in a ‘May session’ school in the Northern Hemisphere, now would be a great time to review your progress to date: it’s time to check on what you have, and have not, done in relation to all three components (Comparative Study, Process Portfolio and Exhibition). As I hope you know, in around three months’ time you will be submitting all of this ...

6/VACAF, EE/RPPF and EE/CS

(Don't you love acronyms?) I lead DP visual arts workshops, both online and face-to-face, and just before Christmas finished my last visual arts workshop of 2017. It was a category 1 and these are invariable full, packed and busy—so much to cover, so little time to do it in! As ever it was a lively and enjoyable workshop, but a couple of things sometimes seem to get pushed to the back of the line and possibly overlooked—visual arts coursework authentication, reflection on the extended ...

From the Ridiculous to the Sublime: The Visual Elaboration of Ideas

The Ridiculous (or at least, misguided) As an exhibition moderator I sometimes encounter work that seems to be based on a misinterpretation of the visual arts course. Of course the work is not really ‘ridiculous’, but let’s say it might be a little misguided. For example, in one case a student submitted (as artworks in their exhibition) a single Lego brick, and Lego ‘Batman’ and ‘Superman’ figures. Source: Wikimedia Obviously, there is no technical competence involved here: the Lego belonged to the student’s ...