An exhibition of student art is an opportunity to enjoy the creativity of young people and engage with their culture. But what other benefits can exhibitions provide?
The answer? Student art exhibitions are part of a big picture plan to improve learning outcomes and provide real benefits for students, schools and local communities.
This was one of the topics discussed at the world congress of the International Society for Education through Art (InSEA) in Melbourne attended by educators, academics and professionals from overseas and Australia. They represent school systems, universities, government departments and organisations, and arts bodies.
Our Arts Education Program Manager, Anne Smith, lists who benefits from student art exhibitions, and how, in her paper presented at the conference.
Students. Their artistic achievement is recognised and they develop their voice and identity and begin to build a new contemporary culture. Through their art, students think critically and creatively. As they develop their artistic skills they gain knowledge that will help them in various academic disciplines. Research confirms that participating in the arts can increase intelligence quotient, improve literacy, numeracy and attendance.
Schools. Arts programs are a show-case, and other areas of learning are validated that have contributed knowledge and understanding to the way students formulate their ideas in a visual form.
School communities. Parents and staff come together to celebrate student achievement and the rich and varied learning provided by the school, which enhances social and emotional wellbeing.
The local community. Student exhibitions are a focus for greater community engagement. Businesses that host exhibitions are recognised for their support and their staff and visitors enjoy the stimulating artwork.