27 March, 2024

Northbridge student artists engage with feedback and self-expression at IBDP Visual Arts Exhibition

Northbridge student artists engage with feedback and self-expression at IBDP Visual Arts Exhibition-Northbridge student artists engage with feedback and self-expression at IBDP Visual Arts Exhibition-429783402_417739300625294_7380647982560684547_n
Northbridge student artists engage with feedback and self-expression at IBDP Visual Arts Exhibition

By Rhys Franklin
Secondary Arts Curriculum Leader

We recently held our annual IBDP Visual Arts exhibition here at Northbridge International School Cambodia. Grade 12 students displayed the work they have been diligently producing over the course of the diploma programme in the Auditorium.

Exhibiting artwork is an extremely valuable experience for student artists. While creating art in the studio is crucial for developing skills and technique, sharing finished works with an audience provides invaluable opportunities for growth, feedback, and self-expression. Getting artwork displayed in public gives young artists a chance to reach new viewers and receive valuable responses that can help them progress technically and conceptually. 


For many student artists, their first exhibitions serve as an introduction to the professional art world. Seeing one’s creations hung on a gallery wall alongside other up-and-coming artists is a milestone that boost confidence and motivation. It shows student artists that their dedication to art-making is worthwhile and opens potential doors to future opportunities.


Exhibiting early on also gives valuable experience participating in the curation, marketing, and presentation aspects involved in any art show. This helps prepare students for successful independent exhibitions after graduation. Many of this cohort will go on to complete university degrees in the Arts.  


Perhaps most importantly, exhibiting allows student artists a platform to directly express themselves. Art is a powerful medium for conveying personal experiences, perspectives, ideas, and emotions. Being able to share one’s creations with an audience is rewarding for both the artist and viewers, as it facilitates new dialogues. Through critiques, questions, and general social interaction around their displays, student artists gain fresh insights into how others interpret their work. This feedback loop is invaluable for refining self-expression skills and developing a stronger artistic identity. 


Exhibition experience in school also exposes student artists to their artistic community. Meeting other exhibiting student artists, professional artists, gallery owners, arts administrators and patrons expands artistic networks. These relationships open doors to collaborations, mentorship opportunities, workshop participation and future shows.


Having this community support bolsters student morale and investment in their long term artistic careers, especially during transitional periods like graduation. Some of our students even received offers to buy their artwork, an exciting experience for such young artists.  


In short, exhibiting artwork takes student creativity beyond the studio or classroom and places it in a social context. It allows young talent to reap the valuable rewards of sharing their self-expression with interested viewers.


The feedback, exposure, confidence and community gained from displaying art early on significantly enhances artistic development and paves the way for future success. While challenging, exhibition experience is arguably one of the most enriching opportunities available to student artists.


As a teacher who has been teaching IBDP Visual Arts for many years it was really rewarding to see such a variety of talent on display, after many years of students expressing their experience with Covid and lockdown times it was great to see a real variety of views and themes expressed this year and wish all the artists great success.