Q&A on IB DP Visual Arts with Vincent Taylor

Jasween Gill
Published on
July 24, 2021

OWIS teaches the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, or IB DP, to its students because it is one of the most respected high school programmes in the world and is considered a benchmark for college applications. The IB DP includes an arts curriculum that enables students to become experienced, familiar and comfortable in a variety of mediums.

It was our pleasure to interview Vincent Taylor, IB DP visual arts teacher at OWIS and a practising artist. During his interview, Vincent discussed important topics like why he loves art and how the OWIS IB DP Visual Arts Programme prepares students for university. Whether you're a parent or a student who would like to know more about the IB DP programme, this interview will give you a glimpse of how the arts are handled at OWIS.

How does art fit into the IB DP curriculum?

The IB DP visual arts class here at OWIS is a two-year programme that encourages students to multiply their skills using various art-making mediums. Those mediums can include printmaking, ceramics, painting, mixed media, photography and design.

The learning journey in the IB DP visual arts programme encourages students to create from a different perspective, not only from a cultural perspective but also from a personal perspective. Students learn to discuss and use art-making materials and develop their analytical and problem-solving skills using an array of techniques.

Students continue to evolve inside of the programme facilitated by the teacher.

OWIS students enjoy art classes where they learn an array of techniques
OWIS students enjoy art classes where they learn an array of techniques

How is student progress assessed in the IB DP Visual Arts Programme?

The assessment criteria are based on four components: the exhibition, the comparative study, the process portfolio and the extended essay. In addition, students choose whether to become SL (standard level) or HL (higher level) students based on their own decision-making.

Once you receive the IB diploma, there is really no distinction as to whether you have received the SL or the HL. This is because the IB DP visual arts class is designed for students who wish to go on and take their visual arts experience onto the university level or wish to decide to become life-long learners in the visual arts.

Do students leave OWIS with an art portfolio they can present at universities?

The answer is yes. Throughout the year, the student continues to build up a repertoire of art based on the criteria that have been set forth by the teacher.

This can start from pencil drawings, going all the way up to watercolours, oil and acrylic painting, printmaking, photography, photography using Photoshop, as well as any other lens-based type of art-making or art techniques, including animation.

So with the exhibition culminating at the end, the students have a built-up amount of work that allows them to have a portfolio that they can easily submit. The two-year programme also requires students to communicate about art, including the types of skills, processes and techniques used, the research involved, and so on. All of this is a very important part of art education.

Is art an important life skill?
At OWIS, IB DP art students develop an even deeper understanding of the world as artists
At OWIS, IB DP art students develop an even deeper understanding of the world as artists

Students leave OWIS able to explain their particular art-making, as well as theoretical techniques and skills. In the typical IB DP visual arts learner profile, students become open-minded, learn to take risks and become balanced artists.

I believe that art helps our students become young adults who have more confidence and enthusiasm. The techniques I teach students allow them to have the confidence to be young adults who are successful in the arts and successful in life.

One of the good things about OWIS is the enthusiasm and the motivation of the students. Students come in with an array of skills and information, but after taking on the visual arts programme at OWIS, they're prepared with the expertise they need to continue and develop an even deeper understanding of the world as artists.

Thank you, Vincent, for painting a vivid picture of the Visual Arts Programme in the IB DP at OWIS.

The teachers at OWIS are passionate about the subjects they teach. Each teacher is caring and invested in their job. Your child can be a part of the OWIS family too. To find out more about attending OWIS, book a virtual tour of our campus today.


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Jasween Gill

Admissions & Communications Director

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