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Downlands Visual Art has a long-standing tradition of innovation, creativity and artistic expression. Visual Art has been an essential part of the College and over many decades our Visual Art program has produced professional artists who work in the industry across Australia and overseas, in addition to producing students who continue their practice alongside their professional career.

The investment the College has made in its art collection is a strong testament to the value of the visual arts at Downlands. The works of MSCs, Past Students and staff and some of Queensland and Australia’s leading artists grace the walls of our classrooms across the campus. Downlands students are indeed very fortunate to have such an extensive and vibrant collection on permanent exhibition every day they are at school.

Academic Visual Art

In the Middle School, Visual Art is a foundation subject studied by all Year 7 students. Across this initial unit, the students explore the creation and appreciation of visual art across various mediums, with a focus on the practical aspects of the subject. Elective units are available for students to study in Years 8, 9 and 10 which focus on particular techniques, medium, concepts or contexts of interests to our students and in preparation for our senior program. 

12, Downlands offers two Visual Arts subject choices. The QCAA Senior Visual Art course is an OP-eligible course of study in the visual arts where students focus on critical, cultural and aesthetic understandings through participation in the processes of the visual art experience through Visual Literacy, Application and Appraising.

The second subject option is Visual Arts in Practice. This authority-registered, subject area syllabus foregrounds the role visual arts plays in the community and how students may become involved in community arts activities. This subject focuses on students engaging in art-making processes and making virtual or physical visual artworks for a purpose. This occurs in two to four of the following areas — 2D, 3D, digital and 4D, design, and craft. Students create images, objects, environments or events to communicate aesthetic meaning. The aesthetic meaning will be conveyed in response to a particular purpose and for a particular audience. While this will always be personal, the student may also be asked to consider, use or appropriate aesthetic qualities from various sources, cultures, times and places. Students’ perspectives and visual literacies are shaped by these aesthetic considerations when creating communications and artworks.

Visual Art students across both subjects have the opportunity to attend the annual Downlands Visual Art Camp. In 2015, the students travelled to Stradbroke Island and camped out for two nights, developing their drawing skills and using the natural environment in their own artworks. Senior Visual Art students also have the opportunity to curate their own exhibitions as part of an extension and enrichment program.

All Visual Art students have the opportunity to exhibit their works in the student section of the Downlands Art Exhibition. The Visual Art staff will evaluate the body of student work created each year, early in Term 3 and select works to be exhibited as part of this major College event.

Co-curricular Visual Art - Public Art Group

The Public Art Group is a collective of students who gather once a week to work on creating permanent artworks for the College grounds. The works will generally be sculptural or mural based and have the potential to expose students to a range of media skills that cannot be covered in a classroom setting. These could include, but are not limited to, cement fondue, large-scale ceramics, fibreglass, glass, stone and steel.

The process from start to finish is closely linked to the way artists work with councils and private companies in the public sector and incorporates design briefs, design approvals, maquettes, construction, installation and maintenance. At the completion of each work, students will have a folio of the entire process and a certificate of their involvement that they could easily take to future employers.

In 2015, the group received their first installation commission from our Principal, Mr Stephen McIllhatton after a successful pitch presentation from our students. This artwork will be completed and unveiled in 2016.

Activity Details: To be confirmed

Coordinator: Mr Matthew Rutherfoord