‘Inspiring’, ‘truly impressive’, ‘exceptional’, ‘amazing’ and ‘beautiful talented work’. These were just some of the comments left by appreciative guests at the D’Art 2017 Exhibition Private View (Monday 22 May). The exhibition, now in its seventh successful year, showcases the creative talent in art and 3D design of students right across the school – this time from Year 3 to Sixth Form.
The praise was echoed by the Managing Director of Sydenham Arts Rachel D’Cruz, who opened the show, alongside Headmistress Katharine Woodcock, in front of over 100 parents, staff, students and specially invited guests.
Ms D’Cruze, who took over the leadership of Sydenham Arts in January, said she was honoured to be opening the show and congratulated all the students on the exceptional work on display. She said: “I’m hugely impressed with the standards from ideas, to design to evaluation and commercial intent. There are a few local shops in Crystal Palace which would easily take two or three of the pieces so many congratulations.”
She also praised the school’s determination to nurture the creative talent of its students. “It is great to see the school supporting these skills to be developed as part of your curriculum. To the students here in this room (I say): you may not see this now, but to be supported by your school and your parents lays the foundations to your successes in your future.”
Ms D’Cruze also highlighted the crucial importance of the arts. “Employability of students who study arts subjects is higher and they are more likely to stay in employment. There is strong evidence that participation in the arts can contribute to community cohesion, reduce social exclusion and isolation, and/or make communities feel safer and stronger. Students who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer than those who don’t engage in the arts and are 20 per cent more likely to vote as young adults. And culture and sport volunteers are more likely than average to be involved and influential in their local communities.“
She concluded her speech with quote from the Arts Council: “Life without the collective resources of our libraries, museums, theatres and galleries, or without literature, music, art art and, I would add, design technology, would be dull and boring leaving us no discussions about the past, no diverse and stimulating present, and no dreams of the future.’
Along with the innovative nature of the exhibits themselves, the show offered a totally new way for visitors to explore information about them. The interactive Aurasma app App was installed on a number of tablets. When held up to labels about each exhibits visitors could then scroll through the artists’ supporting studies and rationale.