IB Visual Arts: Learning to Think Like Artists

IB visual arts students and teacher Dara Green pose at the 2015 Senior Art Exhibit at Central Academy.

IB visual arts students and teacher Dara Green pose at the 2015 Senior Art Exhibit at Central Academy.

On Monday, Pablo Picasso’s “Les femmes d’Alger (Version O)” set a new world record for the sale of a work of art, fetching nearly $179.4 million.

On Tuesday, masterpieces of a different sort were on display at Central Academy, each in its own way priceless as they marked the culmination of the visual arts study of students in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Students hosted their senior art exhibit, with works in a variety of styles and media gracing the hallways of the school.

Dara Green, a National Board Certified arts teacher at Central Academy, notes that one of the goals of the IB visual arts course is to encourage student-artists to respond to and analyze the function, meaning and qualities of art. Throughout the course students develop and present independent ideas and explain the connections between their work and the work of others.

“We see students begin to think as artists, and not simply mimic the work of others,” she adds.

Throughout the course, students are required to maintain sketchbooks with their ideas, concepts, rough drafts, and more. Green notes that students may fill 3-4 sketchbooks over the course of a school year. Samples pages from the sketchbooks of several students filled a wall during the exhibit, providing an impressive overview of the depth and breadth of their work.

While the senior art exhibit may mark a high point at the end of the school year, IB art students have had a busy and creative year in other ways, too, such as:

  • Julian Gruber became Central Academy’s first student to earn an All-State Visual Arts Award, and was the only one from DMPS this year;
  • Central Academy potters raised $900 for Courage League Sports during their “Clay 4 A Cause” sale. Courage League Sports is an adapted sports facility for people with (dis)abilities.
  • Central Academy student potters worked with The Des Moines Art Center recently on an alternative firing experience called Obvara.
  • Students are also finishing up a donorschose.org project called “Community Canvas.” Fully funded by donors, the project consists of three 4’x4’ canvases that will be displayed outside Central Academy’s front offices.

Move over, Picasso.

Photos of the 2015 IB Senior Art Exhibit

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