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IB Visual Arts

There are no prerequisites for entry into this study area, however an ‘Art’ Elective (Visual Arts, Printmaking, Photography, Media and 3D Art) background prior to the Diploma level will help prepare the student for the requirements of the study.


The IB Visual Arts (Diploma Programme) will foster creativity and exploration by encouraging research into different cultural approaches within the ‘Visual Arts’, as well as utilizing the students own cultural background to connect with their knowledge investigations and creative artworks. The IB Visual Arts course enables students to participate in artistic exploration and production, as well as independent, visual and critical investigation. Students are encouraged to achieve actively through instruction, individual experimentation, creative thinking and problem-solving. Study of the ‘Visual Arts’ provides students with the opportunity to develop a critical, creative and personal view of themselves in relation to the world.


Visual arts in context

Visual arts methods


Theoretical practice

Examine and compare the work of artists from different times, places and cultures, using a range of critical methodologies. Consider the cultural contexts (historical, geographical, political, social and technological factors) influencing their own work and the work of others.

Look at different techniques for making art. Investigate and compare how and why different techniques have evolved and the processes involved.

Explore ways of communicating through visual and written means. Make artistic choices about how to most effectively communicate knowledge and understanding.

Art-making practice

Make art through a process of investigation, thinking critically and experimenting with techniques. Apply identified techniques to their own developing work.

Experiment with diverse media and explore techniques for making art. Develop concepts through processes that are informed by skills, techniques and media.

Produce a body of artwork through a process of reflection and evaluation, showing a synthesis of skill, media and concept.

Curatorial practice

Develop an informed response to work and exhibitions they have seen and experienced. Begin to formulate personal intentions for creating and displaying their own artworks.

Evaluate how their ongoing work communicates meaning and purpose. Consider the nature of “exhibition” and think about the process of selection and the potential impact of their work on different audiences.

Select and present resolved works for exhibition. Explain the ways in which the works are connected. Discuss how artistic judgments impact the overall presentation.

Visual arts journal

The visual arts journal underpins every aspect of the course. Students will use the journal, which can take many forms, to record all aspects of their art-making journey, including experiments with media, research, reflections, observations and personal responses. Although not directly assessed, elements of this journal will contribute directly to the work submitted for assessment.


Standard Level:

Internal Assessment: (40%)

Exhibition: Students submit 8-11 Art works with exhibition text for each, along with a written curatorial rationale. 

External Assessment: (60%) Comparative study: An independent critical and contextual investigation exploring artworks, objects and artefacts from differing cultural contexts (20%)

Process Portfolio: Evidence of experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement, of a variety Visual Arts activities (40%)

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