Art enriches, empowers, and unleashes creative potential: MYP Art Exhibition at AIA

Art enriches, empowers, and unleashes creative potential: MYP Art Exhibition at AIA

Qatar Living
By Qatar Living

Arab International Academy believes art to be the gateway to nurturing creative, confident, and open-minded learners. Celebrating the students' artistic output in the annual MYP Art Exhibition. This year's exhibition took place Wednesday night at 8 pm and involved a musical and movement show, and light display put together and performed by our talented students and teachers. It included works created by different members of staff as well as a teacher seated in the hall creating different pieces using pastels as visitors watched.

The exhibition is also a chance to highlight student voice and self-expression, and one special happening this year is that the dance presented in the opening was conceived and choreographed by students and two young ladies from grades 9 and 11 respectively, handled choreography and training of the younger three performers. The opening also featured a student reciting poetry to music with shadow dancers behind him, and a musical performance and song by students from grades 8, 10 and 11 under the direction of the music teacher.

Displayed around the hall are the works of students from all grades completed during the term. Throughout the term each grade works two units of study designed around an inquiry question and focused on a particular movement or school of art. Students start by researching, then present their findings and carry out a guided deep dive into a particular work or artist. This is where students use analytical skills and demonstrate appreciation and understanding. Using that work as an inspiration, students then learn various techniques connected to that movement or school of art. Students then use the knowledge and understanding gained to brainstorm, draft, and produce their own art piece. A student from grade 10 described the process saying, “I found it empowering to try and represent my viewpoint through surrealism and I was surprised at what I produced. And very proud of my work.” Her piece presented her greatest fear and emulated her inspiration, Frida Kahlo’s work. Grade 6 worked on photography and filmmaking and shared what they learnt about effective photography and films, while Grade 7 focused on Pop art and Cubism. Their booth was an extremely colorful one.

Each booth had representatives from the grades to present their learning and share the journey they took with the visitors. They also chose to design an item of clothing to represent their movement or school of art. One impressive young lady painted her t shirt and jeans to illustrate cubism’s color management and lines. Grade 9 explored representations of migration and trauma in art, and a grade 9 student expressed how powerful the experience was and shared that as they while they were looking at a work on Sabra and Shatila by Dia El Azzawi, the earthquake devastated Turkey and Syria, and she continued, “Seeing the destruction and trauma, we talked to our teacher and suggested we look at the earthquake and represent its trauma in the style we were studying.” Each student chose an image/picture from the media coverage of the earthquake and painted that scene in the style studies using the techniques taught. The result is an extremely powerful piece that served as an installation in the exhibition with each image being then drawn/painted on a jigsaw piece and all the pieces then placed together with the quotation, “The deepest sorrow comes when looking at the ruins and remembering all the happiness that took place there previously”.  

Grade 8 looked at expressionism and Aboriginal art, and Grade 10 focused on still life and surrealism. In each case students were encouraged to find the cultural or personal connection to give a unique perspective to their individual pieces. Grade 8 used stories from their cultures and presented them in the style of Aboriginal art while grade 10 used cultural symbols to represent their identities in their still life drawings.

Every year the exhibition gets a new dimension added to it through the input of the students and collaboration of all members in the school community. The exhibition becomes one where the school community can see the impact of learning on students and celebrate the excitement reflected in the eyes of the students involved. The experience is a rich and exciting one for all and reinforces for us the essential role of art in our lives and its pivotal role in providing a holistic and well-rounded education.

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