IB Art showcases best pieces, personal growth

The annual IB Art Show, which started on April 22 and concluded on April 26, featured the portfolios of IB art students over the course of the two years they took the IB art class.

IB Visual Arts teacher Nicole Walter organized the art show and guided the students through the process.

The art show doubled as an IB exam. Despite the fact that the projects are being graded on a rubric, students were still encouraged to incorporate creativity and personal touches.

“One of the scoring criteria for IB Visual Arts is that the students create personally relevant work,” said Walter.

Between universal themes students are passionate about and themes relating to personal identity and relationships, students tend to lean towards the latter.

“Due to the personal nature of artistic expression in general, students often gravitate to very personal content, and it actually becomes a way for them to better understand themselves in the process,” said Walter, who feels honored to be part of the process.

According to Walter, the curriculum is generally more structured in junior year, but during senior year, students are given more artistic freedom.

“I would definitely say mine was a little more personal,” said senior Liz Hall, who cites interconnecting cultures as a main theme of her project. “I spent my whole life moving around to different countries, and it kind of came from that.”

The artistic freedom can be overwhelming at first. Consequently, finding a subject matter can be a challenge.

“[My theme] was really broad for about a year and a half,” said Hall. “It didn’t really come together until a couple of months beforehand when I kind of looked at all my pieces and realized there was kind of a common thread between them.”

Two years allows for students to solidify or change their focal points as they grow as artists.

“I think that’s the case for a lot of people; they think they have a theme junior [year] and the beginning of senior year, but it doesn’t really come together until a couple months before,” Hall said.

Oftentimes, students choose to opt for new and different techniques or styles as they see trends in their artwork, according to Walter.

“[They] learn quickly that the art room is a safe place to express whatever they’d like; there is no judgment,” Walter said.
Although there is plenty of in-class time to work on the projects, students frequently choose to work from home as well.

“We get a lot of class time, a lot of open studio time, to just do paintings or sculptures or drawings,” said Hall. “You definitely need to work outside of class otherwise you won’t get it all done, but you do get a lot of time in class.”

“Over time, it becomes clear what they gravitate to in terms of subject matter and themes,” said Walter. “I think the freedom of expression is one of the qualities of the class that students enjoy the most.”