What are some highlights from your experience with the arts at AES?
“Some stand-out highlights in the visual arts include trips; trips to the Venice Biennale for [advanced art and IB art students to further develop their portfolios and], the Indian Art Fair which is open to everyone and took place recently in February. [It was incredible to see contemporary Indian artists] and the work that they do. Exhibitions overall [are important, but so are other highlights including the exhibitions that we attend and run] like the IB Art Show and the Semester One and Two exhibitions. [The latter] is put together showing the highschool electives altogether and the achievements of the students at that time. Also, there’s the MESAC Fine Arts Trip. [A less tangible but more felt highlight is the immense growth that students experience and what students learn about art and themselves] from the beginning to the end of [an art] course.”
If you had to use five words to describe the arts at AES, which five would you use?
“Rigorous. It’s a lot more demanding than most people think. Rewarding, just for personal growth [more so personally than academically]. Empowering based on the self. Innovative, I think there’s a lot of innovation that happens throughout the arts for [the students] to understand art as a tool in other contexts. Limitless because there are no finite answers in art like there are in math. In art, it’s like everyone’s answer is right in their own way.”
How can students who don’t partake in the arts support them at school?
“One is attending the exhibitions that take place, such as the IB Art Exhibition at the end of the year [to celebrate the culmination of the seniors’ growth and time here]. Also, watching in other art exhibitions for other [divisions] and supporting the community as a whole [helps]. Beyond exhibitions, joining an art club is [available] - there’s Art Studio where students can use the [studio] space for whatever side-projects they have [or] clay club [for the creativity component in CAS among other activities and clubs]”
What do you think of our arts program? Are there any changes that you’d like to see?
“Something to note is that [the arts] are more rigorous and demanding than you think. We would like to see more spaces for art, especially exhibition spaces [as] the gallery we have is lost on campus [and] is very hidden. We would love to have and see a space on campus where [art] is noticed by anyone who comes to campus rather than restricting it to an enclosed [area] on one side of the campus. Also, [we’d love to see] different, more specialised equipment [including technology] used in a jeweller’s shop, a functional wood-working space that [extends beyond] the maker space [or even materials for] bronze casting.
How well do you think the arts are represented at AES?
“I would say [the arts are represented more than in] an average highschool - it’s more respected and noticed than the average. Most of the time the arts are brushed off to the side. It’s not considered a core subject per se therefore not always a priority. However, at AES it feels more like it's noticed as an important component to enhance the greater curriculum.”