Preparing for an IB Art Exhibition

It's nearly show time!

Most schools in the northern hemisphere will stage their IB art shows some time in March. Time to start planning the space, how you will divide it among students, walls, dividers, plinths, are there any complex pieces that involve special lighting or construction?

Students are required to set up and present their selection of work, they should be able to choose the space and work with lighting, hanging, and oversee all aspects of curation themselves ( with a bit of tech support ). Some schools prefer to find a venue outside the school; this is an option to consider.


Book your schools technician in advance to help with for the hanging of the show! Installing an exhibition requires ladders, hammers, cables, wires, and all sorts of practical applications.

Although the show may not be up for very long, depending on limitations of space and accessibility, make sure you have an opening event; Its a time to celebrate all the hard work!


Site Specific Installations

A site specific work is a work designed for a specific location, which may be the case if a student has created an installation either outside or inside.

HL Students should be able to explain "How do methods of display impact the viewers experience and understanding of the work?"

Written content

I suggest working on the Exhibition Texts  and the Curatorial Rationale well before hanging the exhibition, and then tweaking it once the show is hung. Some things will only become apparent in the curating of the show but most reflections can be made ahead of time.

You also might find these pages useful

Documenting Artwork

An examiner sees only the photograph, not the original work, so make sure the documentation is as good as can beOnce students have completed and selected the works for The Exhibition they will need to...

Methods of Display

students are required to set up and present a selection of work, considering methods of display.assessment objectives:Students need to recognize coherence and connection among...

Exhibition Hanging Styles

As students begin to prepare for their exhibition, it is worth while to spend some time ( even one class time) looking at some different approaches to displaying art. Students can begin to plan their...

Titling Work

When students submit work for their final exhibition assessment they are asked to give a title, as well as medium, dimensions and brief description. See...

Number of artworks per level

HL 8-11

SL 4-7

"Students present a carefully selected number of pieces in the form of a curated final show, and defend and articulate their purpose and intention in a written rationale."

Remind schools and parents that.....

The IB art show is not about showing everything

Many teachers have commented that schools still expect the IB Art show to be a massive event decorating the school and showing off the student work to parents and the school community.

Well, it is a very special event no doubt, but the emphasis has shifted from showing everything to showing a selected and curated small body of work, and we need to help the administration and parents to understand this.

The following information is for you to use in support of your needs for adequate space, time, and to explain what the IB Art Show really is about for those who may not know... good luck to all!

 IB Art Exhibition info for schools administrators

print or download the pdf  IB Art exhibition info for schools

The final exhibition is the culmination of the students' IB Art experience but it does not mean they show all their work. The purpose of this exhibition is for students to experience showing a small body of resolved work, not to show their entire IB art output. Part of what is being assessed is the ability to select and present their work, not just the work itself.

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