Exhibitions, Opinion, Uncategorized

Art for Modern Teens

0 Comments 23 September 2014

Many schools do some kind of discovery or enrichment program with at least one of their year levels, with the year level of choice being year 9. On one of these such programs, I was able to read one of the comments of one of my friends who attended the program with me. We had recently visited the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA). She noted that she found the program “boring and uninteresting”. Later on in the comments, she stated that she did not enjoy this kind of art. Now why would a student find contemporary art, let alone any art, boring?

If one has to change a view, one first has to educate someone about the particular subject. At the start of the tour, the guide asked the group if anyone had been to an art gallery in the past two months. One hand went up. Any mildly intelligent person would tell you that among this particular group of teenage girls, that would say that next to none regularly saw any kind of art. The group was then asked at the end of the tour if they liked the art. Five hands went up. Now, taking into consideration the number of people who had visited an art gallery in the past two months and the people who liked the art, one would say that they were not educated about a certain kind of art. And the one way to change a view is to educate someone about it. So, why not make this and other kinds of art more accessible to teens? Why not invite schools to have their art lessons at a willing art gallery to educate their students about the importance of art galleries? If a student finds this kind of thing boring, why not let them make the art? One of these particular ideas is to request the permission of an art gallery to show students’ art, with the intent for the public to see and possibly buy it. Would this not make students interested in art?

Too often, students are cut off from other, new, kinds of art for many reasons. Some of these reasons include financial inability to access art and living too far away from any kind of art. This is where some kind of interaction with schools would come in. A workshop could be run by an organisation of some sort, whether in school or at a gallery, to introduce students to more kinds of art as well as creating different forms of art. This organisation could collect these student artworks and do an art prize or show, featuring these student-made artworks.
If this does not interest a student, these kinds of exhibitions could be taken out onto the streets, in some kind of sculpture and outdoor art exhibition. This could be extended even further to make some kind of teenage and students art prize, with an exhibition featuring the finest works, including artworks by students from other schools. It would also mean that young people not currently in school could participate. This could be taken to a state or national level, with the possibility of having an international competition for the young people. This doesn’t have to be restricted to only visual art, though. It could be extended to performing arts as well. This kind of opportunity could give some of the country’s young artists the “big break” into whatever artistic field they specialise in.

Too often, artists have to give up doing something they love for business, financial and personal reasons. This kind of thing can often be heartbreaking, not being able to continue doing something they love. Of course, some artists continue making art, even if it is not truly viable for them. Many students would take these kind of opportunities to do something different and break the mold that some they feel they are being pushed into. These kinds of competitions, workshops and programs would give students a larger perspective into what career path they might choose to follow. If you were to ask a roomful of students who had no idea what they might choose as a career path and you offered them this opportunity, many would at least give it a go, if not to ditch school for a day. Ask any young person, would you like to make a mark on the world, potentially forever? Many would say yes.

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