Dr Maja Divjak in front of a projection of one of her biomedical animationsYou might find it hard to see a link between the complex world of molecular biology and the creative world of cinema animation. One’s science, you might think, and the other’s art, and they’re worlds apart.

You might think again after viewing the stunning video produced by scientist Dr Maja Divjak. She combines her scientific knowledge with the skills of cinematic animation to illustrate how our airways function. The resulting video is a beautiful work of visual art showing cells in action.

But it’s also an educational tool that makes the unseen micro world visible to senior secondary students. It’s a powerful and practical bridge, between art and science, built on scientific knowledge and new artistic tools. They’re not worlds apart, after all.

At ISV, we believe art has an integral role in the school curriculum, as essential as maths and science. It shouldn’t be an optional add on, something that’s nice to do but not essential. Instead, we think it has value not only in its own right in enriching the lives of students, but because it’s linked to other core elements of education.

We see art as a building block in students’ development in which they learn to think creatively, gain self-awareness, solve problems, apply tools to express themselves – and persevere.

That’s why we’ve had a long-standing commitment to an arts program and why for more than a decade we’ve held an annual Student Art Exhibition.

This year, we’re taking that commitment to a new level as we host our inaugural Arts Learning Festival from 3 to 7 May. The theme of the festival is ‘unlimited imagination’ – a theme that captures the limitless potential of the arts in our lives.

The festival is now just two months away. We’ve built a rich and diverse program of events, ranging from circus displays to orchestral performances, drawing on the best of local, national and international artistic talent. It’s for students, teachers and families – the whole community, in fact.

Importantly, it’s open to all students and teachers in all schools, not just those in the Independent sector. We hope they and their families will be drawn to the workshops, displays, exhibitions and performances, staged across Melbourne’s key cultural and artistic sites and in regional centres.

In organising the festival, we’ve been encouraged by the support and endorsement we’ve received, from the Victorian Government, the City of Melbourne, galleries and museums, from sponsors and the wider arts community.

You can find out more on the Arts Learning Festival website, where you’ll find details of the exciting range of ticketed events and free drop-ins.

You can see the list of programs and activities – including workshops by Dr Divjak  – under the bookings section of the website.

I’m inviting you to join us to experience the power of unlimited imagination.