More to art than meets the eye
A former senior educator in visual arts says the work of art students has improved over the years because of changes in the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) syllabus.
Beverley Alleyne, who was head of the visual arts department at the Foundation School, said that students in all the secondary schools were doing a “fantastic job” in those disciplines, but people underestimated the arts in Barbados because they were not informed.
Speaking at the opening of the first annual Secondary School Visual Arts Exhibition, Alleyne said the changes in the CXC syllabus gave the students more scope. She pointed to the requirement for students to create a reflective journal to show the body of work they had done over the fourth and fifth form years as a very positive change.
Once upon a time the students had to do three exams, she said, but now they had to do two six-hour exams as well as produce the reflective journal.
“The good thing about the change is that it is a progression because the journal means they are exposed to the theoretical aspect of art, so they are no longer just doing the drawing, painting or surface decoration.
“They have to interview other artists who are doing similar work or [using similar] techniques to [theirs], and that will be featured in the journal,” she said.
Each student must choose a broad theme for their work and has to be able to formulate questions for interviews and be able to collate the information in a systematic manner.
The two-day visual arts exhibition, staged in the hall of the St Leonard’s Boys’ Secondary School Tuesday and Wednesday, was part of the Ministry of Education’s celebration of 50 years of universal free secondary school education, as well as its observance of Education Month.
It featured the combined work of scores of CXC students from a number of secondary schools – St Leonard’s, Ellerslie, Lester Vaughan, St George, St Lucy, Princess Margaret and Foundation School.
In his remarks to officially open the exhibition, principal of St Leonard’s, Joseph King, said that the exhibition was the fruit of the efforts of budding artists.
“Over the past year, you the artists have been taking your own steps on . . . a journey of discovery, a journey that is awakening in us the realization that there is more to you than hairstyles and cellphones, that we have resources that are deep and unfathomed, reserves of creativity,” King said. (LK)