So how was your summer?

If you are about to start your 1st DP visual arts year, congratulations! You are riding the new wave of visual arts, first to take the new course! Hopefully your teacher has attended a workshop to get him/her up to scratch with all the changes, but either way you are breaking new visual arts ground.

As I’m sure you will learn, there are three components, but the holistic nature if the course means that you will probably not have classes and assignments specifically divided into ‘work for the exhibition’, ‘work for the process portfolio’ etc.

One thing that is (in my opinion) a big improvement over the current/old course is that you can’t get away with sticking to the same technique/media for two years. As an examiner, I come across schools that only offer one media and think that students at these schools are short-changed.  Although it might be true that in some cases a very narrow and sustained focus on one technique might mean that students become experts, I’m afraid that in general that’s not what I have seen.

A common two year media/technique for some teachers was photography, but frequently the photographs that students uploaded at the end of the course showed little improvement over the course of the two years.

My grade 11 students are starting with an exploration of  ‘lens media’ – lens-based art-making, so groups of art students can be found  wandering around with digital cameras, earnestly recording a range of interesting sights from (sometimes), unusual angles. The term “LENS MEDIA” is used in the new visual arts art-making forms table

Art making forms





If you are about to start your 2nd DP year – and you have a reasonably good work ethic – you may well have been doing some school work – maybe researching the extended essay, or work related to your other DP subjects.

I saw my returning new-12th grade students last week and was very impressed with what they had been doing over the summer. In addition to visiting galleries, many had thought about artwork to be created in this first quarter, with some plans and ideas already fairly well developed in their investigation workbook.

Either way, you are the last students following a course that started back in 2009, with final exams April 2015 (although a few southern hemisphere schools will have their exams November 2015).

It is also the last time you get the choice of options (A or B), the last time there are two components (studio and investigation) with a 60-40 split in assessment weighting, and the last time you can choose to make an interview video to be uploaded along with the assessment files.

Good luck!