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This year we have four students completing the DP Visual Arts course: Rony Tene, John (Jake) Ols, Tiana Seger, and Cameron Shelter. The artistic journey they have taken over the past two years culminated in the 2016 IB Art Exhibition, which took place on March 2nd, 2016, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which provided an opportunity for them to showcase their artistic efforts, including photography, painting, mixed media, and sculpture.
Many of you may not know that the Visual Arts course is one of the first IB subjects to be examined, usually occurring around the end of February. Unlike traditional exams, IB art students do not sit for tests, which on the surface may seem like a simpler and far less stressful way to complete a diploma subject; however, ask any DP Visual Arts student in March how much sleep they’ve had in the past month and their zombie-like appearance will indicate the level of commitment and endurance needed to curate a professional exhibition that demonstrates their best body of work. As the IB Visual Arts course recently switched to a new framework, it has been a tumultuous year for our young artists — one filled with various unknowns. I want to give extra credit to this year’s Grade 12s for being incredibly brave “lab rats” while battling the frontier of this brand new IB Visual Arts course.
It is certainly not an easy challenge being an art teacher at THINK Global School. When I first arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina ten weeks ago, I knew nothing about Sarajevo. Kenan Mackovic, our host city specialist, was incredibly helpful as he guided me around the city to scout for a venue. After visiting several unfruitful locations earlier in the day, we immediately knew upon entering the Bošnjački Institut (Bosniak Institute) we’d found the perfect location. The Bošnjački Institut is housed in a stunning 500-year-old hammam (Turkish steam bath), and its unique atmosphere and culturally significant domes provide the ideal backdrop for our art exhibition.
With the location scouted, it was time for our students to begin preparing their final curatorial process. Given our relatively short term in Sarajevo, they were required to think on their feet; in contrast, most IB art students in a traditional school have two years to prepare. Our students had a little over two weeks. With only forty-five square meters of hanging space available to fit all thirty installations, students had to be creative in the way they displayed their works while maintaining conceptual coherency of how their artworks are meant to be viewed.
Traveling the world without an art studio is not as easy as it seems. There are frustrating moments of not being able to source materials that are readily accessible at home — who would’ve thought masking tape and Blu-tac would be impossible to find in Sarajevo. As a traveler, this reminds me never to take resources for granted. But with enough creativity and flexibility, we somehow always manage. In fact, the students do even better than just manage, they care. They care about each other’s well-being. They care about social issues that are affecting their world. They care enough to pick up after each other’s messy paint palettes. They care, therefore they are curious.
Caring, kindness, and curiosity got them through this coursework, and I am so proud of them for it. And It’s not so much about their finished works as it is about the questions, processes, and experiments over the last two years that led to the creation of their masterpieces. I know they will remain daring and creative people wherever their post-TGS paths may lead them.
Download the 2016 IB Art Exhibition Booklet
We’re pleased to share with you an iBook containing all of our students’ curated work. It’s a fairly large file, so please allow time for it to download. The 2016 IB Art Exhibition is best viewed on the iPad, but it can also be viewed on the iPhone and Apple computers. Non-Apple users can find a stripped-down (no videos or animated comments) PDF version here.
View the PDF
Download the PDF here