Visual artists are an essential part of any society, as they reflect and comment upon that society in the most fundamental ways
The Visual Arts extension Program was established in 2013 for Year 11 and 12 students to provide focused and concentrated opportunities for them to learn about the visual arts within a community of like-minded peers. The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School is located in the heart of Melbourne’s Arts Precinct and is a short walk from Melbourne’s most significant cultural organizations including the Australian Centre of Contemporary Art (ACCA), the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA).
One to one teaching is a key part of the Visual Arts Program. Small class sizes in Years 11 and 12 ensure students have opportunities to learn about contemporary art practices that encourage ambitious and exciting outcomes.
An essential part of the Visual Arts extension Program is the chance for students to show their artwork in the school’s gallery spaces and at external exhibition venues. Regular exhibitions throughout the year attribute to the powerful and rapid development of each student’s art practice. These opportunities seek to support them in developing their professional approach to presenting art and understanding the stages of exhibition design and development. This is an important outcome for students as they begin to identify how to display their work to audiences and promote conversations about their practice with their peers, family and teachers.
Partnerships with key cultural organizations alongside the promotion of student engagement with the wider arts community is integral to student learning within the Visual Arts Program. Students visit exhibition spaces weekly to develop an expanded understanding of contemporary art practices and historical traditions in art.
Workshops presented by visiting artists and specialist practitioners contribute to and enhance their specialist education in visual arts. Melbourne based artists work alongside students throughout the year. The sharing of knowledge and skills helps students to expand upon their existing art making practice.
A full Academic Program in addition to the Visual Arts Program ensures each student achieves a comprehensive VCE education.
MENTOR PROGRAM - YEAR 12s
The mentorships are arranged at the beginning of each year and students are partnered with a practising artist to mentor and support their art practice in VCE Art and Studio Arts. Students receive through their mentorship appropriate assistance and support to identify, explore and explain their creative processes and how it can be further expanded to advance their creativity. The mentorships encourage students to learn to think about their creativity process on a personal and philosophical level. The students are encouraged to learn to become critical of, and more experimental with, their art making practice.
- To support students with art making
- To inspire discussion and engagement about art making
- To encourage the development of a supportive learning environment that values individual ideas and approaches to making art
- To develop and enhance their use of art terminology and vocabulary
VISUAL ARTS FACULTY
Nick Heynsbergh is an emerging visual artist and enthusiastic arts educator with a particular interest in student wellbeing.
Nick completed a Bachelor of Art (Fine Art) with Honours at RMIT in 2013.
Nick has exhibited works in a variety of local and international group shows, and in August 2013, he presented a folio of works at the Impact8 International Printmaking Conference in Dundee, Scotland.
Whilst studying Art and prior to training as a teacher, Nick worked in a public library in Melbourne. This experience helped cultivate a deep love for books and literacy, reflected both in Nick’s regular production of zines, and the importance he places on Arts literacy in the classroom.
More recently, Nick embraced the opportunity to teach at a coeducational college in Darwin, where he experienced a vastly different Australian culture. During his time in the NT he developed a profound respect and appreciation for Australian Indigenous culture, which has influenced his desire to provide diverse and inclusive Arts education programs.
In the near future, Nick will hold his first solo exhibition, and complete a Master of Teaching at The University of Melbourne.
Sean Peoples has exhibited regularly since graduating from art school in 2006. Selected shows include Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria, Primavera 2014 at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the TarraWarra Biennial at the TarraWarra Museum of Art. Sean is one half of The Telepathy Project, a collaboration formed in 2005 with artist Veronica Kent. Telepathy serves as an extended metaphor and working methodology through which they explore alternate ways of being, communicating and collaborating. Together they have undertaken an Australia Council for the Arts residency in Barcelona, a residency at Last Ship in Mumbai and a residency at Bundanon Trust. Since 2007 Sean has taught in a range of state and independent schools teaching and delivering education workshops.
Andrew’s teaching practice is currently positioned within the specialist Visual Arts Program; however, in the past he has taught Art, Design and Media to students from junior secondary school to VCE. He is particularly interested in teaching contemporary art history and collaborating with students to create exhibitions of their work.
Alongside Andrew’s teaching practice, he has worked for the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority in the following roles:
School Assessment Reviewer for Art, Media and Studio Arts
Examination Assessor for Art, Extended Investigation and Studio Arts;
VCE Art Examination Chief Assessor;
VCE Art Examination panel member;
Study Design review panel member and writer for Art and Studio Arts.
From 2009 – 2010 Andrew was the Education and Public Programs Manager at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art where he delivered talks and workshops to primary, secondary and tertiary students and delivered professional learning programs to teachers. He generated a range of public programs and events for the community that related to each exhibition season.
The Department of Education awarded Andrew ‘Teacher Professional Leave’ in 2009 to explore gallery education programs in contemporary art spaces and he was selected to complete a ‘Teacher Led Research’ project in 2014 to investigate how intensive and sustained experiences in the visual arts can improve student-learning outcomes.
Judith Hall has worked in state and private schools as well as teaching primary, secondary and tertiary age students. She has also taught the hearing impaired and worked in the Artist in Schools program.
Having trained in Film, Television and Photography she has worked as a stills photographer on film productions as well as for fashion and various magazine assignments. Since training in analogue photography she has embraced digital processes.
Judith’s work is in various collections including the National Gallery Canberra.
She has learned how to recognise creative potential in student work, how to guide it and how to nurture it.
Zac Koukoravas is a VCA graduate whose practice involves paintings on canvas, glass and wood as well as sculpture. Embedded within his practice are a diverse range of pictorial traditions and cultural experiences including graffiti, architecture, the electronic music scene, political activism and our relation to natural and urban environments.
In 2013 Koukoravas was included in 'Flinders Lane Gallery' FLG’s annual emerging artists exhibition, Exploration, and was the joint winner of the FLG Emerging Artist Award. For Visualised. Koukoravas presented a series of large paintings on glass The works incorporate elements of geometric abstraction, layering glass and perspex panels to create complexity, multiplicity and depth in each piece. Koukoravas imposed strict parameters on himself in the creative process, using only discarded and found materials to draw from in composing works - setting parameters whilst also opening up possibilities. Imposing limits, and finding within that things are actually limitless. These conflicting elements of chance and structure, movement and stillness are brought to bear.
The resultant works are complex layers of interweaving peaks and plateaus that appear structured and composed, but are the outcome of this series of gambles with the dichotomy of order and chaos.
Koukoravas 'sold out' of his works at the 2014 Melbourne Art Fair, and has works in international collections.