Visual Arts At Mahurangi College

The Mahurangi College Visual Arts Department is a well established and highly successful team which prides itself on the quality of art works students produce and the level of support and care provided. The high levels of NCEA success is well established, with many students each year gaining well above the national level across all levels of endorsements and many students continuing to study Arts at tertiary level. The College recognises that the study of Art is an integral part of their students’ lives. Students are nurtured to build personal attributes including perseverance, resilience and determination. They learn the process of making and examining art and through this, students can realise the power to inspire change through imagination, creativity and innovation. The culture of arts at Mahurangi College is to experience the potent and dynamic visual language of art through which students are able to communicate personal experiences, ideas, cultural values and beliefs.

The art department staff are enthusiastic and experienced practitioners in a range of artistic areas, allowing for specialist classes in each of the three traditional art disciplines: Photography, Painting and Design. 

Students are well catered for with specialist teachers in the Arts from the time they enter the college at year seven through to year thirteen. At both year twelve and thirteen, Art students can select to undertake study in each individual area of the Visual Arts.  Whereby, the students are encouraged to develop artistic practices and skills useful for tertiary study and work directly relating to Visual Arts careers or skills transferable to other curriculum areas.

It is the department’s vision to ensure the delivery of exciting, fresh and relevant programmes and events. One of the events annually is the ‘Top Art Exhibition’ which showcases the top folio boards in the country at Level Three. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience ‘hands on’, the best in New Zealand. “We have been thrilled to have three students picked for this national exhibition: Ellie Young in 2011, Madeleine Cheeseman was featured in 2012 and Lucy Twigg in the 2017 Top Art Folio Exhibition,” says Art Faculty Head, Nyree Norrington.

This year the department has continued to focus on individualised learning pathways linked to each student's interests and strengths.

Students in senior Photography are working on many varying thematic areas. “This year we have students looking at the banality of consumerism, through to a visual history of Scandrett Regional Park,” she says.

Students in Level Two Design are exploring campaigns based on Ocean Environmental Awareness. “They visited the beaches in the area, capturing the essence of the environment and now they are creating visual designs for a business to support ecological awareness in the area.”

“Senior Painting has continued to produce amazing and beautiful artworks in which the technical skill just blows you away. Some of the work looks like you are looking at a photo.”

“At the end of the year we hold our annual senior exhibition in the Art Block. This showcases all our senior folio boards and you can also see a selection of junior/middle school art pieces which are displayed.” Students and staff alike welcome the support from the community and encourage visitors to attend the exhibition. 

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