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Ian Potter Centre to Show Top Arts: VCE 2008 in March
Rania Tabet, Orange juice ... in the making. Synthetic polymer paint and oil on canvas 121.0 x 152.0 cm. Loreto Mandeville Hall, Toorak.

MELBOURNE.- Opening 25 March, the National Gallery of Victoria will present Top Arts: VCE 2008, an exhibition showcasing the artistic achievements of VCE Art and Studio Arts students.

Now in its fifteenth year, Top Arts will display over 70 works by 61 students from government, independent and Catholic schools from across Victoria, giving a voice to students to convey their attitudes and ideas to the public and explore current themes in society.

The exhibition will include works from a range of media, including painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, animation, works on paper, and an installation.

Merren Ricketson, Coordinating Curator, Top Arts said: “This year’s exhibition features themes ranging from the force of nature, to relationships with family and friends, technological development, exploration through self portraiture, and fantasy and folklore.

“The selection panel looked at thousands of applications and were delighted by the creativity, skills and ideas that emerged from art classrooms across the state. In turn, the NGV becomes a learning site for students, playing a crucial role in supporting and strengthening the links between VCE studies, the arts industry and the community,” said Ms Ricketson.

Top Arts enables students to combine their recent VCE studies with practical industry experience by working under the guidance of curators, designers and technical staff.

Frances Lindsay, Deputy Director, NGV said the exhibition highlights the National Gallery of Victoria’s commitment to contemporary art and art education.

“It is always exciting for us to see fresh and unique work reflecting the issues faced by today’s young people and the NGV is proud to be supporting and encouraging the next generation of Victoria’s visual artists.

“Top Arts provides students with a chance to work alongside arts professionals, reinforcing for them and their peers that the visual arts is a sustainable and significant career path. This year’s exhibition contains exceptional works and I encourage everyone to come and enjoy the achievements of these young artists,” said Ms Lindsay.

Students selected for the exhibition have completed Art or Studio Arts as part of their Victorian Certificate of Education. This year 166 Victorian artists were short-listed from over 2,000 applications.

Top Arts is hugely popular with VCE students, teachers, schools and the general public. Last year 192,818 people visited The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia during Top Arts: VCE 2007 – a daily average of 2678 viewers across the 72 days the students’ works were on display.

An exciting range of education and public programs will explore the creative process behind the works in the exhibition.

Visitors will be encouraged to vote for their favourite artworks in the exhibition as part of the Goldman Sachs JBWere People’s Choice Award. The art departments of the top three schools whose exhibitors obtain the most votes will receive a cash award.

Top Arts is part of the VCE Season of Excellence 2009 program in Melbourne, a festival of outstanding VCE students’ visual and performing art managed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Top Arts: VCE 2008 will be on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square from 25 March – 14 June 2009.

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