IB Visual Arts

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Visual Arts in the IB is a subject for those who enjoy art practice and independent work. The independent nature of the IB program is strongly reflected in the Visual Arts. Generally the students use all of their class time to plan, create and critique their art work.

Depending on the length of the class, this could be a very short amount of time. This means that the majority of work for Visual Arts is done at home. The major "homework assignment" is the Investigation Work Book (IWB), which is a journal where the student researches their theme, experiments with media, and reflects on their pieces and plans out new pieces they will create. Currently, for a HLA or SLA student, the studio work is 60% and the IWB is 40% of the grade. Similarly, an HLB or SLB student will have their IWB be 60% of the grade and their studio work is just 40%. The difference between HL and SL is considered in how many hours IB supposes that your work took you. An SL student will be expected to show fewer pieces and workbook pages.

The IB examiner looks for a strong correlation between the IWB and the student's work. The unity of the student's portfolio is also a very important part of IB Visual Arts. Although IB does not require a "theme", there must be a focus of the art; change over time tracing the development of the student. Having a theme in your work can be helpful though, and is encouraged by most teachers. Many students find that after they have started creating pieces, they can naturally find the focus of their portfolio.

Although students considering taking this course should evaluate their proficiency in various art techniques, skill is not the major focus. Instead, IB Visual Arts is a class where the students are able to grow and develop themselves. Despite what has been said, the course, especially at HL, does require some talent as well as many, many hours of hard work.