The Coronavirus has robbed Year 12 students of many things this year, but for HSC Visual Arts students at Warnervale’s MacKillop Catholic College, there’s one long running tradition that remains untouchable.
The College’s HSC Visual Arts Exhibition is an annual whole school celebration of the talent, hard work and dedication of its art students, and it has been running since the school’s inaugural Year 12 cohort.
This year’s event was derailed by the pandemic, with restrictions around school visitors forcing the cancellation of the traditional inhouse showcase.
Unwilling to let students’ efforts go unrecognised, the Creative Arts Faculty has instead created an online exhibition so that the community can still view students’ works and celebrate their accomplishments.
Jillian Young is the College’s Secondary Key Learning Area Coordinator of Creative Arts and according to her, the new format exhibition was the College’s way of commemorating the Class of 2020.
“Students were disappointed that we couldn’t have our regular HSC night and I know that their families felt like they were missing out, which is why we created the online exhibition.
“They (students) had so much added pressure this year and this exhibition is our way of acknowledging them as artists and giving them a forum to display their work,” Young said.
Each student has also received a copy of the professional standard photos taken of their work as part of the exhibition to use in their portfolios.
Believing access to and understanding of the visual arts to be critically important to young people’s development and wellbeing, Young said that she was very proud of the Class of 2020 for facing the challenges of COVID-19 head on.
“Students stepped up and worked hard.
“They accepted the challenge in front of them and moved forward as best they could.
“They produced some amazing works and were very prepared for their exam.
“I’m incredibly proud of them, but most importantly I think they should be proud of themselves.”
The exhibition is live now and can be accessed via the College’s Facebook page.
The College is also poised to launch its annual MacKillop Portrait Prize (MPP) online on November 5.
Modelled on the Archibald Prize and open to students from K-11, the theme of this year’s MPP is ‘Covid Heroes’ with Young encouraging the wider community to access both exhibitions, support the College’s budding artists and to vote in the MPP’s People’s Choice Award.