Art Exhibition Thoughts


This file was written by Max Darby in 2010. The thoughts have been mentioned at almost every exhibition I’ve opened.

Following are some general thoughts I had about student exhibitions. They are things I try to pass on whenever I open an exhibition.

Making an artwork is a thinking and academic act, rather than something that is just done with the hands. The working of the brain is as important as the working with the hands.

Too many people think of art as not being one of the ‘academic’ subjects. Too many people also think that making art is just for the ‘talented’ or gifted.’ That is, you either have talent or you don’t, and if you don’t then that’s an excuse for not trying it. Making an artwork is more about hard work and perserverance than it is on talent, and learning how to do things is far more important than using some unique and misunderstood personal gift – gifts you seem to get for free. Art actually costs you enormously in time and effort.

An art exhibition  provides the opportunity for young people, sometimes young adults, to demonstrate their thinking and reflective action, and what they have learned rather than demonstrate any gift they have been given. It is also an opportunity to celebrate their achievements with their friends, family and people they have never met.

Placing an artwork in an exhibition is perhaps one of the most courageous things they will ever do. It is putting on public display for appreciation or criticism the things they value, their ideas about life and their experiences, what they think and feel, the things they believe, and their taste in terms of what they think is beautiful, or powerful or of value.

Few students get the chance to do this. Fewer students get the chance to do it so publicy. Special thanks should go to all who make artworks and who so courageoulsy display them, and to all who encourage them…friends, parents and especially their teachers. If you haven’t told them so yet, go and do it now.

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2 Responses to “Art Exhibition Opening thoughts”

  1. max says:

    Wow…one of your favourite sites? That’s wonderful. I really enjoyed working today with all of you. Please keep in touch. Perhaps once you see some of the student artworks on there you might like to add to the list? I just need emailed photos of works and a little information and I can do the rest. Cheers for now Max

  2. Ingrid Reed says:

    I have not stopped looking at your website since I got home today after a PD at Zart. Thankyou for your passion and generosity on sharing all your thoughts and ideas. I will definitely making this one of my favourite sites. Thanks Max.

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