Visual Art

Visual Art
Why take Visual Art for matric?

At the centre of all learning lies the learner’s own experience.  Arts education offers learners a unique way of exploring the world around them, expressing their own perceptions and discovering their own creative imagination.  In this sense, arts education lies at the heart of all learning!

Some of the outcomes for this subject are to:
Encourage learners to think critically about the world of images around them. This skill benefits not only artists, but designers, heritage workers, architects, photographers, teachers, town planners etc. We all rely on an ability to interpret images in a critical way.
Emphasize the value of keeping artist’s notebooks. These are a personal resource where ideas, sketches, images etc. can be stored for later use.
Explore visual phenomena and technical possibilities through practical projects, research, interviews and discussions.
Synthesize findings in a personal and meaningful way which not only benefits the individual but also the group.
Humanize ourselves through the exhibition of own work, where issues of the art-making process and representation take place.

Career Opportunities:
The following represents a synopsis in which related careers can be pursued, and some of their associated roles and work contexts:

Fine Arts (professional artists, visual arts educator, illustrator)
Advertising (art directors, copywriters, entrepreneurs, marketing, photographers)
Design and Decorating (game animation, game engineering, app design, graphic, textile, fashion, landscape, interior, product, jewellery, stage design, illustration, animation, and cartooning)
Craft (craftspeople, product developers, operations managers)
Architecture and the Built Environment (architects, town planners, landscape designers, decorators)
Arts Management and Marketing (dealers, gallerists, agents, publicists, fundraisers, project managers, the world of arts auctioneering)
Art Criticism (journalism, critics and art historians)
Public Art (small and large scale public art events, mural artists)
Curating and Conservation (curators, exhibition designers, conservators working in museums, public and private galleries and travelling exhibitions)
Education and Training (teachers, trainers, materials developers, lecturers, NGOs, community arts centres, private providers)

Some things of interest:
I recently attended a talk given by Luc Wolthers. He is a 20-year-old Redhill School Old Boy who is currently studying a course at Wits University on Gaming Design and Gaming Engineering. He has already worked for Triggerfish and Pixar -two multinational companies where he was involved with animation.
Gaming is one of the faster-growing industries in the world and one which attracts creative people who want to be a part of a very new and rapidly-evolving industry.
Last year at the St Mary’s DSG Career Evenings, two young men - Carl Jeppe and Thomas Blatcher - spoke to our students about their careers in the media industry. Both young men own their own companies which service and provide design and advertising for a wide range of clients.
I was recently fortunate to meet Dr Sarah Britten who also heads up her own media company, The Creativity Project. She spoke about ‘portfolio careers’ - a term which I had not come across before. It means that in the future, most people will have multiple careers concurrently.

There are many varied and diverse fields/branches of Art, many of which cannot be measured, tested or even touched upon at school level. Taking Art as a subject does not mean becoming an artist who works in a studio for a living - this may have been the case a few hundred years ago. Just as a student who takes Science is unlikely to become a scientist, so too, a student taking Art is unlikely to become an artist. Art teaches skills way beyond drawing etc - it inculcates life skills such as self-discipline, problem-solving, visualisation, and processing concepts creatively, learning to be comfortable with ambiguity, lateral thinking etc.

Self-discipline, hard work and a love of the subject are key factors which should motivate your choice. As is the case with all success, it requires the individual to move beyond the comfortable and to be equipped for change and multi-disciplinary careers.
In the words of Nelson Mandela:
“Individuality encourages creativity, creativity sparks identity, identity forms communities, communities form nations.”

Date: Monday, 23 May 2016 14:21