Art and about with Year 7
by Amanda Andlee Poland, Head of Creative Arts, Visual Arts & Photography Teacher
Who has been to the National Gallery of Australia?
This question, which I ask students in preparation for our termly visit to the NGA, generally reveals that some Year 7 Radford students have not been to the gallery before.
Fun fact: National research suggests that, outside of school hours, 31 per cent of children aged 12–14 years attend art galleries. Children in the ACT are more likely to visit a gallery than children in NSW.
John Falk, Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University, asks: 'Any (art) museum can get somebody to come once, but can you get them to come ten times? What would it take to create a 21st century museum where visitors came 50 times in a year?'
With the enthusiasm and eagerness demonstrated by students viewing the diversity of works on our recent excursion, I guess that many will want to go again ... soon.
Comments about the experience include:
• I got to see the painting that I have been doing as a collaborative (appropriated) painting at school and many other amazing artworks.
• We got to see the real size of the paintings and the little details we might have otherwise missed. We learnt all sorts of things including that John Glover's painting has a cool frame (large, historic, carved, gold and detailed) and that in John Olsen's large, colourful, abstract painting there is a self-portrait.
• We saw 'our' painting up close in the Gallery and it was really small, compared to what I thought it would be ... a grand landscape.
• We saw a lot of artworks and they were all interesting yet different. My favourite historical Australian painting included two women and we discussed fashion of that time.
• I found the stories behind the artworks interesting and how the artists saw the world and how different it is today.
• I enjoyed looking at all the Australian paintings of landscapes, particularly the ones of the outback.
• We hadn't noticed before the visit that our painting of Mt Kosciusko by Eugene Von Guerard, had little people in it.
Why not consider visiting a gallery with your child over the summer break?