Ipswich Art Gallery has taken its commitment to involving youth in the arts to the next level with a new exhibition curated entirely by young people who live in Ipswich.
Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chair Councillor Andrew Fechner said the exhibition was an impressive experiment, one of the first globally to put artistic direction and decision-making in the hands of young people.
“Ipswich Art Gallery is committed to developing content and programming that is not just for or about young people but also by and with them,” Cr Fechner said.
“Provided with space, resources, access, and power, this major exhibition drawn from the Ipswich Art Gallery’s impressive collection provided our junior curators with the same professional resources as a typical adult-curated exhibition.
“I am thoroughly impressed by the results and encourage everyone to come and see for yourself what can be achieved when young people are supported to be curious, creative, and in charge.”
Through a series of facilitated sessions designed to spark creativity and curiosity, 14 of Ipswich’s eight to 14 year olds first learnt about the significant works in the gallery’s collection.
Then, in dialogue with gallery staff, the junior curators developed the exhibition’s theme and decided which works to exhibit, how they would be presented and what story they tell.
Councillor Fechner said the Junior Curators have been creative collaborators in the truest sense.
“Ipswich Art Gallery has a long track record of providing impactful arts engagement for children and young people, and the gallery team is deeply committed to inspiring a lifelong relationship with the arts from a young age,” Cr Fechner said.
“Children have tremendous potential as contributors, and we should not underestimate their capacity for creative cultural production, critical interpretation, and curatorial innovation.
“Young people’s creativity can inspire new approaches to art and encourage innovative thinking. What better way to get a fresh view on a collection than to get a youthful perspective on it?
“This process has taught everyone involved that our youth have so much to offer, and that we adults are well placed to learn from them.”
Home to Australia’s first permanent, interactive children’s gallery space, Ipswich Art Gallery is widely recognised for its leadership in children’s programming.
‘Junior Curators: Mysterious Realms’ opened at the Ipswich Art Gallery on Saturday 25 November and will close on Sunday 28 January 2024.
Admission is free and the gallery is open 10am to 5pm, seven days a week.
For more information, visit: Ipswichartgallery.qld.gov.au