Everywhere we look in the modern world, art and design surround us: from the multitude of galleries featuring classical and contemporary artworks to the advertisements on our streets, the buildings in our cities, and even the phones in our pockets. Art and design can be the foundation for future careers, but even as an avocation, they are also areas that provide students with the chance to enhance their critical thinking skills and to explore their creative sides. At YCIS Pudong, students from K2 through Year 13 have the opportunity to participate in regular art classes in some form. For Secondary students with a particular interest in Art & Design, they may choose to formalize their studies by taking Art & Design examinations at the IGCSE or International Baccalaureate (IB) level.
Recently, YCIS Pudong Secondary Art & Design students had the fantastic opportunity to formally exhibit their work at Community Centre Shanghai’s (CCS) in Pudong. The exhibition, entitled “Ways of Seeing”, featured final project artworks in multiple disciplines by six Year 11 IGCSE students: Ann, Elina, Florence, Jen, Jenny, and Joanne; as well as three Year 13 IB students: Cindy, Mary, and Yolanda. The title of the exhibition was a reflection of the many ways we can see and interpret the world around us. Rather than focusing on a single theme, the exhibition encapsulated each student’s responses to, and unique perspectives on, a range of subject matters that interested them.
Along with their final pieces, the students’ creative processes were documented, with sketchbook pages and detailed descriptions of the works also on display. All of the exhibiting students were on hand to talk with guests, explaining the direction and journeys they had taken with their art. Parents, faculty, fellow students, and members of the public were in attendance, perusing the artwork, catching up with friends, and enjoying a selection of refreshments at this wonderful community event.
According to YCIS Pudong Secondary Art Teacher, Ms Jennifer Ormerod, another dimension was added to the exhibition by having the young student artists present at the event to interact with visitors. “It was great to have the students sharing their processes and themes, and it added value for the attendees by making the show more accessible,” Ormerod said. Having to describe their work to different people in a new environment was a positive experience for our young artists. According to IGCSE student Florence, “The exhibition was very enjoyable and helped me understand my work on a deeper level. Rather than just handing work over for examination, this allowed me to really reflect on the details of the work and the production process.” Ms Ormerod added, “The students did a fantastic job of providing clear, concise, and focused explanations of their work. They were confident and showed a lot of pride in their creations.”
This will be the last art exhibition for the IB students before they head off to university, so it was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the students’ hard work, for the students to be able to share their creativity with the visitors, and to provide inspiration for the IGCSE students continuing their Art & Design studies into Year 12 at IB level. Ormerod summed up the experience saying, “This was an excellent culmination of our students’ art & design experience in IGCSE and IB, and having their work exhibited all together in one place was a great opportunity and a very special moment to celebrate their artistic progression over the last two years.” This sentiment was reiterated by Year 13 student Mary, who said “I really liked the idea of having the two levels (IGCSE and IB) together, and it was also amazing to have our dedicated space. The venue was fantastic and had a really professional feeling!”
Once again, we would like to thank the Community Center Shanghai for allowing us to host this important event in their lovely space, and we are already looking forward to next year’s IGCSE and IB Art & Design Exhibition!