Showcasing our students’ creativity – the MHS Student Art Exhibition

Showcasing the creative work of our students is always a joy, and this year the MHS Student Art Exhibition delighted those who came to see the variety of work by students of Art, Visual Communication Design, Photography, and Media and performances by Drama students.

We were honoured to have as Guest Speaker this year Richard Roberts, an internationally acclaimed and sought-after stage designer. He has designed for drama, dance, film, television and opera. Alongside his practice as a designer, he established the design programme at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (1991- 96), was Head of the School of Production at the Victorian College of the Arts (2000-07) and most recently, Head of Design at The Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts (2013-15). Most recently he has designed a new production of Fiddler on the Roof for TML, The Last Man Standing for The Melbourne Theatre Company, Rigoletto and Don Pasquale for Opera Australia and Glengarry Glen Ross for Black Swan Theatre Company. He is currently designing Much Ado About Nothing for Queensland Theatre Company and Caucasian Chalk Circle for Black Swan Theatre Company He is the recipient of four Greenroom Awards. He won best design for Drama in 1998 for Stolen (Playbox Theatre Company), and in 2000 for Life After George (Melbourne Theatre Company) and best design in Dance in 2001 for Requiem (The Australian Ballet) and in 2004 for Molto Vivace (The Australian Ballet).

The Visual and Performing Arts studies give students the opportunity to develop skills and mindsets beyond the created work itself.

As Art educator Clara Lieu points out in her excellent article, Should we protect Arts education, “…  it doesn’t matter whether a student in my class becomes a professional artist or not. In fact, it is perhaps the students who go into other fields for whom my art class could have the greatest impact. Innovation happens when someone is willing to take a risk and try something out of the norm. Art class is the ideal environment to take risks: there are literally no answers at the back of the textbook, and so much of the creative process can be simply trial and error.  In visual arts, you have to facilitate your own path, and be willing to give anything a shot.”

Guest speaker, Richard Roberts, reminded us that creativity is not about whether you were ‘born creative’ but it’s about making things, creating something that previously didn’t exist. In this sense, the work displayed in the Art Show is a visualisation of the ideas and processes taking place in students’ minds. Richard believes that everyone has the potential to be creative but sadly we are often limited by categorisations which rank us as creative or not creative.  It is important to give young people the opportunity to spend time working through creative processes, and also to exhibit the resulting work.

The following is just a snapshot of what was displayed in the Art Show this year. As I look at the work each year and take in the names of students, I discover aspects of the students, their thinking and expression, that I had previously not known. We should be grateful to the Arts for this opportunity, and support events such as the Art Show, music concerts, Drama performances, etc., which showcase what our students are capable of.


The old light box camera!




Melbourne High School Art Show 2015

This year’s Art Show has been stunning and showcases the broad range of talent amongst a large cohort. The Visual and Performing Arts have a fabulous staff whose passion and teaching expertise bring the best out in a cohort often otherwise engaged in Maths and the Sciences. The importance of the Arts in education is often overlooked with a short-sighted perception of the Arts as irrelevant to those whose careers will be in other disciplines. In fact, through the process of art making and problem solving, of creative solutions and playful ‘what ifs’, students develop transferable skills and behaviours – important 21st century skills which they will need in the world of their uncertain futures.

Charles Leadbeater, in his book Learning to make a difference: school as a creative community, says that

Education should equip young people to shape
an uncertain future so they can live more successful
lives, on their own terms and together.

The real core curriculum of education should equip young people to:

  • Make something, whether that is a model, a play, a piece of music, an argument, which makes a difference to them, their relationships and the community they are a part of as they seek to solve these challenges.
  • Have the confidence to act creatively even in the face of uncertainty, without having to know every detail in advance.
  • Develop the desire, capacity and confidence to be a contributor to solving problems, however large or small.
  • Acquire the traits of character, especially persistence, grit and determination to overcome the myriad obstacles that will stand in their way.

School should be a creative community with a cause, a place where children
go to:
• Explore, create, make, try things out and learn from their mistakes and recover from their setbacks.

The Art Show is a showcase of all 9-10 students’ work and that of VCE students studying Studio Arts, Visual Communication and Design, Photography (elective) and Theatre Studies. Individual works of art and performances are impressive on their own, but how powerful is the collective display!

Whilst school is largely about abstract learning, the Arts provide an opportunity to make and perform.

And now for a glimpse into the exhibition.

It’s all happening – Book Week is here!

So, finally, it’s Book Week. Our Book Swap table has been set up and the first book to be purchased for a gold coin is – can you guess? A dictionary!

I’m happy to see a good mix of contemporary and classic books, including some books you’ve not seen for some time or perhaps never before. 







If you’re around, come and join us for our Book Week activities. It’s not too late to submit a photo to ‘Book Face’ or ‘Holding Up Books For No Reason’. Tomorrow’s BookWiz should be fabulous; I’m looking forward to the quartet. Please donate a book or two to our Book Swap table, and choose a book or two for a gold coin donation.