Art Show Goes Virtual for Four IB Students


Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Like so much else, the annual NDA IB Art Show had to go virtual.  The Tritonian is proud to feature the work of four IB art students as they culminate their two-year study with art teacher Melanie Bradshaw.

According to the IB art teacher, “The criteria IB is looking for is a coherent body of work, technical competence, conceptual qualities and the student’s ability to select, arrange and justify their choice of work.”

IB examiners will evaluate the work of seniors Melanie Burnell, Aidan Guiou, Liam Tumblin and Margarett Bolin to determine what score to give them in the college-credit course.  

Burnell and Guiou, Honor Level students, had to submit a minimum of seven works while Tumblin and Bolin, Standard Level students, had to submit a minimum of four.

Bradshaw, in her third year of teaching IB Visual Art, explained the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

“The students had to be much more self-guided and develop many of the skills and techniques on their own with me giving feedback rather than being able to guide them as much on the front end,” she said.  “These students have really done a great job working through those challenges and the many others that came with Covid.  I am so proud of their persistence and ability to push through and adapt.”

Bradshaw, whose art classes are popular at NDA, said IB students “tend to be the students who really love art” and “are driven to create in different ways, and I get to stand back and watch a little more.  They get excited about an idea that I never would have come up with and then I get sucked into that current and get to ride the wave.” 

One of the artists, senior Aidan Guiou, said he “loved IB Art” because “it was a very challenging class that made me think much more critically about art and its qualities.”
“The emphasis on analysis/contemplation/interpretation of works made me appreciate art styles I hadn’t before and allowed me to kind of look at works across genres systematically to relate them to one another,” he said. “I don’t plan on majoring in art as a career, but I certainly intend to keep creating art and music as I think it makes life much more fulfilling — and fun!”

IB Art, a two-year course versus the regular one-semester art classes, “involves a lot of discussion, problem solving and critical thinking to make the works the best they can be,” said Bradshaw, in what seems to be an echo of Guiou’s comments.  “IB students tend to be deep thinkers too, so we get to talk about the conceptual more than in other courses.”

Bradshaw provided the following links to the art work/exhibits of the four students.

Melanie Burnell (HL)

Aidan Guiou (HL)

Liam Tumblin (SL) (explicit content)

Margaret Bolin (SL)