By Annamaria Castellucci Cabral
The IB Diploma Programme (DP) Visual Arts course is a two year program that develops the student’s analytical skills in problem-solving and divergent thinking. It encourages students to develop their confidence as art makers, as well as challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. Students are expected to engage in, experiment with and critically reflect upon a wide range of contemporary practices and media. The course is designed for students who want to further develop their art skills and/or seek lifelong enrichment through visual arts. DP visual art is designed to develop the student into an independent and resourceful thinker.
The Ogden International High School has the benefit of being in a central location of the city which affords us the convenience of taking field trips at least once a year that supplement topics discussed in class such as the Chicago Imagists (Roger Brown Study Center), printmaking (Spudnik Press) or Scientific Illustration (Museum of Surgical Science). These invaluable opportunities not only extend far beyond the reach of the classroom but also give us the benefit of meeting, speaking and on occasion working with Chicago artists. Our visual art students have gone on to enroll in programs through Marwen, After School Matters, Gallery 37, IntuitTeens, Arte Vida and even intern with local artists like Tracee Badway.
The intention of this course is to encourage a love of the visual arts, a respect for the process and further develop a learning that pushes boundaries and ideas. This course, although fun, does entail a series of written comparative, sketchbook documentation, development of a theme and the expectation of developing a solid body of work upon the completion of the course. The course has some high expectations and it does require a good work ethic and strong commitment to completing assignments. The Visual Arts course is weighted just as heavily as all of the other Diploma Program courses and because of this, prepares the student for not only college level courses but a genuine appreciation and understanding of the arts.
The Diploma Programme aims to encourage students to be knowledgeable, inquiring, caring and compassionate, and to develop intercultural understanding, open-mindedness and the attitudes necessary to respect and evaluate a range of viewpoints. The Visual Arts course embodies this being cross curricular and tying into all of the other required course including Theory of Knowledge (TOK), advancing skills and finally, exploring rich cultural surroundings through field trips and/or internships.
This rigorous course that promotes art analysis, questioning and development concludes in a final senior exhibition which is also the class’ final culminating assessment. At Ogden International we celebrate the students’ two years of hard work by promoting the event and inviting the outside community to the exhibit. These students have been fortunate enough to showcase their work in the public exhibiting in venues such as SIP coffeehouse, West Town Public Library and Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. This course and these students are truly amazing!
This blog has contributions from a variety of faculty and staff at Ogden International.