Some positive developments in a professional practice program
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This paper will outline some recent developments I have made in teaching Professional Practices to 3rd year Fine Art students in Semester 1, 2009. It is noted that it is only in retrospect that visual arts graduates consider business or professional studies valuable for their career development. Maria Menidis in her review of Professional Development options for the visual arts and craft sector for NAVA in 2006, emphasises that it is 'principally through work that real professional needs become evident.' Evidence of this is given in Jude Adams' 2005 ACUADS paper where she identifies the considerable benefits to students participating in the University of South Australia, School of Art Industry Internship Program. In 2004, 14 students were involved in this program with enormously positive results in employment (casual or short-term work as a direct outcome of their placements), clarification for students of future career directions, and importantly a widened conception of what working in the arts sector involves. Finding 14 placements might be possible in locations with smallish arts infrastructures, however how are intern placements found for 50+ students? With this in mind I have developed a pilot program that combines a short and sharp lecture series with groups of students working with a postgraduate mentor to develop an art project that the students would like to realise. Along the way each group needs to apply for a grant (using the Arts Queensland's proforma), for $500 (money I have been able to raise through QCA), and then realize the project for assessment. The program has created extraordinary enthusiasm from the students participating and a great deal of interest and excitement form the postgraduate mentors. While this program would never replace opportunities and benefits for internship work, it does provide many possibilities for developing professional artist skills, using the knowledge and experience of mentors as a sounding board. I will discuss the four very different projects developed by students and identify specific learning outcomes.
ACUADS 2009 Conference: Inteventions in the Public Domain
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Fine Arts (incl. Sculpture and Painting)