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Exhibition Showcases the Artistic Talents of Young Victorians
Nicholas Park, Genuine friends, watercolour on paper, 41.5 x 59.0 cm. Melbourne High School, South Yarra.

MELBOURNE.- The National Gallery of Victoria opened Top Arts: VCE 2009, an exhibition showcasing the artistic talents of young Victorians.

Now in its sixteenth year, Top Arts displays over 80 works by 57 students from government, Catholic and independent schools from across Victoria.

Students’ ideas are represented through a range of media, including drawing, film, painting, inkjet prints, textiles, and sculpture. This year’s works have been inspired by a wide range of themes, including contemporary culture, the nature of relationships, life’s challenges and concern for the environment. Students have also been influenced by the works of illustrators, established artists, authors and filmmakers.

Merren Ricketson, Top Arts Coordinating Curator, said that imagination and diversity characterise the works from this year’s exhibitors.

“Alongside the skills and mastery of media on display is the richness and originality of ideas. Although the works deal with many of life’s difficulties, like Black Saturday, they are filled with energy and optimism about the future.

“Top Arts clearly reflects the potential of the VCE visual arts curriculum and the outcomes that are possible with school and family support. The exhibition provides students with invaluable industry experience, through working with curators, designers and technical staff whilst strengthening links between VCE studies and the arts community,” said Ms Ricketson.

Students selected for the exhibition have completed Art or Studio Arts as part of their Victorian Certificate of Education. This year 144 students were shortlisted from more than 1700 applicants.

This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the partnership between the NGV and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in the provision of state-wide education services.

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

“The NGV is proud to be showcasing the work of Victoria’s emerging visual artists. It is important for us to support today’s youth in exploring current themes in society.

“This year’s exhibition contains some wonderful works and I encourage all members of the community to come and celebrate the achievements of these young artists,” said Ms Lindsay.

Top Arts is incredibly popular with VCE students, schools and the general public. Last year, more than 100,000 people visited the exhibition, a daily average of around 1500 visitors across the 72 days the works were on display.

An exciting range of public programs, including opportunities to view some of the student’s developmental folios, accompany the exhibition.

Visitors are also encouraged to vote for their favourite work in the exhibition as part of the Goldman Sachs JBWere People’s Choice Award. The art department 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 2010 program, a unique visual and performing arts festival showcasing the work of VCE students, managed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Top Arts: VCE 2009 is on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square from 1 April – 20 June 2010.

The National Gallery of Victoria | Top Arts: VCE 2009 | Merren Ricketson |

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