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 ...

Process Portfolio Questions from Students: Part 1

Hi all, If you are a student in the second year of your Diploma and in a ‘May session’ school, your final examinations are fast approaching. And if you are a visual arts student, next month—March 2018—is likely to be a busy one! The focus of this blog is the Process Portfolio component. Last month I posted the Process Portfolio checklist for HL and SL. This month I’m clarifying some points based on questions I’ve been asked by students about the Process Portfolio.  Questions—and ...

50 Shades of Grey Areas: Ethics and Plagiarism

Shades of Grey (Areas) Plagiarism itself is not a grey area. It’s black and white. But what about being influenced, reminded, informed or inspired? My blog this month has a Theory of Knowledge (ToK) flavour. There is a lot of visual arts/ToK overlap, but one recent ToK class had a little more ‘art’ than usual. It was about sources of inspiration. We started out by watching the fabulous Everything is a Remix video* *Many thanks to Kirby Ferguson. See also: https://www.ted.com/talks/kirby_ferguson_embrace_the_remix http://kirbyferguson.com/ Art, and the Arts, and plagiarism have a somewhat ...

LANGUAGE vs SENSE PERCEPTION (Art and the Theory of Knowledge)

A picture - worth a thousand words? My visual arts blog this month has a Theory of Knowledge element. I’m in the happy position of teaching both DP Visual Arts and DP Theory of Knowledge. There is a lot of Art/TOK overlap, but one activity that I recently had with ToK and Visual Arts students was very much in the ToK mode of questions... Sight and Sound (The limits of language) The ToK starting point was a discussion of Ways of Knowing: how do ...

The 5 Nots (Comparative Study HL)

In September I posted some thoughts about the Comparative Study – Six of the Best (comparative study issues and advice) This month I’m continuing that theme but focusing on criterion F, so I’m only talking really to those of you who are taking HIGHER LEVEL Visual Arts. Criterion F deals with making connections to your own art-making practice. *In July I posted a blog about what NOT to do in your exhibition - “When NOT to…” (Visual Arts Exhibition No Nos) Now I am posting ...

Six of the Best (comparative study issues and advice)

It’s September, so some of you will be just starting the bright and shiny adventure that is IBDP visual arts, while others will be returning for your final year. So (unless you have already completed it) part of the visual arts coursework that you will be/are engaged in is the Comparative Study. Examiners have now seen work uploaded for three examination sessions (May 2016 and 2017, and November 2016), and some issues and patterns are beginning to emerge. This blog is not intended ...

100 EXHIBITION HOURS (the conundrum of time and quality)

Lawrence is one of my visual arts students. He has repeatedly asked how much time each he should devote to each of the course components. (Hi Lawrence, I know you read my blog!) Of course, the course is taught holistically and there is no ‘hours per component’ recommendation in the visual arts guide. Visual Arts guide page 16: “Although the core syllabus is identified in this guide through subdivided segments, teachers are encouraged to approach the teaching of the visual arts course in a ...

Selectivity and Distillation: the Process Portfolio is NOT a Diary

Diaries. Journals. Sketchbooks. They serve a range of purposes; diaries document the momentous and the mundane, the day-to-day detritus, and the sporadic moments of joy and/or despair. Artists’ diaries can give a good insight into the creative processes. (See the illustrations included here.) Tate website “A diary is a record of events or experiences. From sketchbooks to video diaries; and from the mundane and everyday to big life events and how these make us feel… We have pulled together a selection of art to ...

“When NOT to…” (Visual Arts Exhibition No Nos)

By now I expect that many of you (students) are on holiday – so I’m pleased to see that you have spared a moment to check on the visual arts blog! If you have graduated I’m happy to see you and good luck on July 6th (RESULTS day!) If, on the other hand, you are in between the first and second year of the course, some of this blog may prove useful. I’m reflecting on more things seen during the last visual arts ...