Adventures in IB: Expressing ideas as informed, reflective and critical practitioners in Visual Arts

January 12, 2021
Expressing ideas as informed, reflective and critical practitioners in IB Art

Wow, what a year it’s been. Firstly, I want to speak to Ms. Cecilia Padilla’s amazing job this year in my absence. Her talent, knowledge, hard work, and ability to connect with students have proven to be among the brightest spots amidst a challenging 2020. We’re taking the positive impact Ms. Padilla has had on establishing the IB Visual Arts Program and diving headfirst into 2021 and beyond!

First-year IB students have rigorously covered foundational art vocabulary, materials, techniques, and theories, ranging from observational drawing to video and sound experiments. We challenged students with providing critical feedback to their peers during each class by developing invaluable art-specific vocabulary, keen observational skills, and contextual awareness. Students practice all of this in what Ms. Padilla and I have come to call the Art Forum.

The Art Forum is an open intellectual space where students observe one another’s work and listen to their ideas and solutions. Students are responsible for writing and submitting their thoughts for the class, which aids them in crafting their articulations. As a former professor at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, the meaningful and eye-opening student discussions at Purcell Marian High School rival those I conducted at the college level. These same exercises are utilized in freshmen and sophomore classes to prepare Cavaliers for the expectations of the two-year IB Visual Arts course.

Second-year IB students are working tirelessly to complete and submit what will be Purcell Marian’s very first round of Comparative Studies and Process Portfolios for external assessment. In addition to the external assessment, IB requires students to curate, install, and write about their works in the form of a final show.

The process involved in this accomplishment is no minor feat. Each second-year student has taken the foundation of IB Year One and crafted thoughtful, independent studio work, rigorous research and investigation, and meaningful self-reflection. We could not be more proud of the risks our students have taken in sharing their beautiful creations and ideas with the world. The amount of emotional and intellectual energy it takes to generate these things at such a pivotal time in their lives is inspiring. Our final show is scheduled for Friday, March 5. We are brainstorming creative ways to celebrate this fantastic moment with the world and will share more information closer to the show date.

Thank you to all who continue to be supportive of the Visual Arts and IB Visual Arts. Together, we are building an extraordinary community at the Castle.

Learn More about IB Visual Arts

International Baccalaureate