The visual arts are an integral part of everyday life, permeating all levels of human creativity, expression, communication and understanding. Through the IB visual arts course we explore the cultural significance of art and provide the setting in which a student can become an artist, producing creative individuals who have the skill and confidence to realise their ideas.
Led by their own enquiry, students will over the 18 months of the course produce a substantial body of studio works building to an exhibition in March of year 13.
Working from a starting theme of cultural identity, students develop an artistic practice that marries creative concepts, technical excellence and authoritative critical understanding. Set within the context of contemporary fine art practice, the visual arts IB encompasses an enormous range of technical disciplines and aesthetic styles. We encourage students to explore creative disciplines such as drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, illustration, textiles, ceramics, photography, film, video and installation and expect them to produce work in at least three different disciplines.
Given the autonomous nature of the subject, a bespoke course is taught for each student. We tailor the course to the individual's needs with technical workshops, contextual and cultural studies and practical tutorials supporting the student's independent studio work and artistic interests, be that the imagery of gothic romance, Belorussian folk traditions or sculptural engineering.
The assessment of the visual arts is threefold, testing students' critical, technical and conceptual understanding of the world of visual arts and their role with in it.
Comparative study (20%) — An independent critical and contextual investigation that compares artworks, objects and artefacts from differing cultural contexts. The comparative study is submitted electronically, presented as 10-15 screens which examine at least three artworks by a minimum of two different artists, the works selected must come from contrasting contexts. Higher level students produce an additional 3-5 screens which analyse the extent to which the work of the artist they have studied has influenced their own artwork.
Process portfolio (40%) — Collated from sketchbooks, material experiments and studio pieces, the process portfolio is an electronic submission of carefully selected works that documents the creative, technical and critical journey that has led to the production of the studio pieces shown in the exhibition. In the portfolio will be preliminary studies with material investigations in a variety of media and observational studies. Students will show exploration of the social and political context of their work and will have discussions and annotations that form the basis for more substantial studio works. The process portfolio is presented as screens 9-18 for standard; 13-25 for higher.
Exhibition (40%) — A culmination of the course, the exhibition is a curated presentation of carefully selected studio works (4-7 for standard; 8-11 for higher), taken from a greater body of studio pieces produced during the course. The selected works are accompanied by a curatorial rationale (400 words for standard; 700 for higher) that explains the choice of work.
General entry requirements:
International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6 x grade 6 and 2 x grade 5 at GCSE or equivalent.
International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme: 3 x grade 6 and 2 x grade 5 at GCSE or equivalent.