Sunday, 1 June 2014

Creating for an Authentic Audience

Last week the Penticton Art Gallery hosted an opening night for an exhibit of work produced by local high school students. The Princess Margaret selection from Brad Gibson's art classes included 3 sections: A mask project (Grade 9/10) A Tea Pot Project (Grade 11/12) and a set of Dry Point Etchings (Grade 11/12).

Brad commented that there are many advantages to exhibiting the student work in a public forum. "It takes the projects out of the context of the classroom and puts them into the professional environment of the art gallery," he said. Students see their work from a different perspective and in a formal display which signifies respect. They also get to observe other members of the public appreciating and discussing their work. Students were aware before they began their projects that these would be going on display at the gallery, and though any work performed by Brad's students is of a consistently high quality, the expectation of a public show was an added incentive for students to take the work extremely seriously.

A second benefit Brad mentioned was that the exhibit allowed him to showcase the wide range of students that choose to take art at Princess Margaret. Students are allowed to enter the art program during any year of their high school career, and with any level of experience. The display showcased the extraordinary products produced by a very varied group of students. After the opening night students were extremely positive about seeing their work on display and valued by members of the larger community. Opening night of the exhibit was well attended and many parents also commented on the value of seeing their child's work on display in a public forum. It was a great reminder of how important it is to provide students with an audience for their work beyond the perspective of the regular classroom.

The show runs until June 15th.

1 comment:

  1. Please let Brad and his students know how impressive their displays were. I was particularly interested in the fact that students at any age and with any level of experience are welcome to explore the artistic side of their education.