IB DP Arts Symposium

Oliver Golding, Dr Steve Shann, Kevin Knapp, Sally Stenning and Gretel Burgess at the IB DP Arts Symposium

Oliver Golding, Dr Steve Shann, Kevin Knapp, Sally Stenning and Gretel Burgess at the IB DP Arts Symposium

By Samantha Mein, Year 11 IB DP Student

On Tuesday 3 November, Radford’s Year 11 IB Diploma Program students attended an Arts Symposium for their Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class.

Students were given the opportunity to ask a panel of professional artists their own TOK questions. The panel of artists gave engaging and insightful answers, allowing the students to more comprehensively understand the key components of art and the fascinating issues surrounding the Arts. The five artists on the panel were:

  • Dr Steve Shann, a psychotherapist, former UC Assistant Professor of Teacher Education, and author
  • Collegian Oliver Golding, a Melbourne- based visual artist with a Fine Arts degree completed in 2020
  • Radford College Counsellor Gretel Burgess, a mixed media artist and teacher at the Wellbeing dance programs at Belconnen Arts Centre, who has previously performed professionally and worked for numerous youth drama and dance companies
  • Kevin Knapp, an award-winning conductor, accomplished trumpet player, and a teacher in the Radford College Music Department
  • Sally Stenning, Head of Performing Arts at Radford College, with more than 20 years’ experience directing and teaching drama

The students were able to ask questions about TOK issues that interested them. Highlights included discussions about the intimate relationship between art and culture; the ethics of creating confronting art; the importance of the artist and viewers in the interpretation of art; the benefits and detriments of copyright laws; and the intersection of the Arts in subjects such as Mathematics, History, and Science.

The Symposium was valuable not only educationally, but also as a life experience. The artists made it clear that we can all be artists, and can all appreciate art, whether or not we are good at art or choose to pursue it professionally. Art is an important way of balancing our lives, broadening our horizons, and shaping our perception of the world. Without it, we would not be human.

Thank you to Mrs Rehfisch, the panel members, and all others who made this experience possible. We are grateful for the insight you have given us into this discipline.

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