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Secondary Inquiry Questions

Q: How can I communicate through art?


Gr.11 and 12 students in the IB diploma program's visual arts course spend 18 months learning what it means to communicate through art.





During that process, the students encounter ongoing questions, for example:

  • What idea(s) do I want to communicate?
  • What materials are best for representing these ideas?
  • Where can I find inspiration and use it to inform my ideas?
  • How have other artists expressed their ideas?
  • What visual vocabulary will I use to communicate to the viewer of my work?


The students hold a mini-exhibition at the end of 11th grade, which marks a midpoint in the process where students can evaluate how cohesive their work is and how effectively it communicates. Curating an art exhibition helps students to refine ideas and expand their visual vocabulary.


Students make choices about which work to exhibit, how to arrange it, and how to explain the work through exhibition text and a curatorial rationale. Visitors are invited to attend, which allows the students to engage with their audience and practice presenting their work while also getting feedback. 


This year the mini-exhibition was held on September 16 in the newly dubbed Yon Kai Gallery (4th floor of the East Building). There were many dynamic conversations with the students who challenged the visitors to express what they saw and experienced. They also answered questions about their process and the messages they wanted to convey. 

Students will now take the experience and return to their work with a fresh perspective and understanding, using it to refine their ideas and work for their final exhibition near the end of 12th grade.