For many Arts Academy students, the Benchmark exhibition at the Post Office Gallery will be the first time they see their works professionally hung in a formal gallery setting.
Adding to the excitement their family, friends and the public will view the works on gallery walls alongside the creations of their peers from Federation University’s visual arts courses.
Post Office Gallery curator Shelley Hinton will spend this week curating the more than 80 works of art and placing them throughout the gallery ahead of Thursday’s opening of Benchmark 2018.
“For all students to have their work exhibited in a formal gallery context is important for their professional practice so they see the way their work is presented against their peers,” Ms Hinton said.
Taking the art out of the studio and on to gallery walls also brings a different perspective to the pieces.
“It’s a much larger area than their works would normally by seen in, so within the context of a large space and their work being viewed by the public it can be a nervous experience for students as they can feel their work is judged, but for the most part it’s a great opportunity for them to have their work appreciated,” she said.
“They see how their work fits among other works, they have it professionally lit, the works are formally labelled, there’s a list of their works, proper invitations to the exhibition, a formal opening … it prepares them for what it would be like exhibiting in an external gallery.”
The art stretches across different mediums from drawing, painting and print making to ceramics, sculpture and graphic communication or commercial art.
“It’s always hard to curate a show like this. We want every student’s work to be in and it’s my job to make it come together with 2D works on the walls and 3D ceramics and sculpture on show.
“Showcasing student art has always been important to the gallery and that will continue whether or not the name or format changes, we will always have and showcase the work of students here.”
Benchmark runs from August 17 to September 15.
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.