CRAE - RCÉA 2009 (36) 83-98
Abstracts/Résumés pp. xv-xxi
We Practice What We Preach:
A Local History of a Community-Based, Student/Faculty Art Exhibition (2002-09) Elizabeth Auger Ashworth
Daniel H. Jarvis
Purpose of the Exhibitions Student-organized exhibitions hold the potential to greatly enhance the visual arts school curriculum. Burton (2004, 2001), for example, contends that there are a number of multi-faceted benefits for art students, art teachers, and for the art education program in general through the implementation of student-organized exhibitions. In Exhibiting Student Art (2004), he concludes: The key to successful ...view middle of the document...
In originally conceptualizing the community-based art exhibition in 2001, one of the authors considered the following significant points: (i) she wanted to give pre-service teachers, faculty, and support staff a chance to show their work; (ii) many students did not have exhibition experience, especially with hanging a show; (iii) such an experience would help them to start an art resume and to learn how to frame and price their own work; (iv) it would be a bridge between school life and real life; (v) it would be a good showcase for the artists while also being educational for colleagues, administration and the community; (vi) it would nurture community/university relations; (vii) it would help the local art gallery involved to achieve their mandate of showing a variety of quality work from various Ontario artists; (viii) an exhibition would serve to advertise the university to a wider community; and, most importantly, (ix) it would prepare pre-service teachers to curate shows for their own future students. History of the Annual Exhibition The first Nipissing University Faculty of Education art exhibition occurred in the 2001-2002 BEd program year. It was a small, 2-week show with only 12 senior art education elective students and two faculty members participating. Apart from the participants, approximately a dozen visitors attended the opening of this first show at the White Water Gallery, an artist-run centre in North Bay, Ontario. Even with these low numbers, it was clear from the excitement shared by the participants and visitors that the concept had potential for both artistic and academic purposes.
Canadian Review of Art Education (36) 2009
We Practice What We Preach The original idea for the exhibition came from informal discussions with teacher-candidates who were training to become Senior level art teachers. It was discovered that most candidates—even though many had BFA degrees—had never been in a formal show. All had taken at least five post-secondary studio courses so they had some background with creating art, but did not have experience exhibiting their work (Senior Visual Arts elective students, personal communication, September 2001). The title of the exhibition, “We Practice What We Preach,” came from informal discussions with art education students in which they shared frustrations about how little the general public knows about what they do. According to Blatherwick (2005), “the main objective in exhibiting student works is to honour artistic achievements and provide a place where work can be seen, reflected on and interpreted” (p. 133). By showing their work and providing a venue for reflection and interpretation, the participants could assure their future students, colleagues, and members of the community that they were not only art teachers but also practicing artists. For its first two years, the show was displayed in the smaller “members’ section” of the gallery known as “Innerspace.” By being situated there, the...