GOMA celebrates the next generation of Queensland artists

Lyn McKenzie (centre), Deputy Director-General, Department of Education and Training, Queensland Government at the exhibition opening with the Creative Generation artists.

The Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art and Design, now in their 22nd year, recognise, celebrate and honour student artists from Queensland schools.

The award-winning works were officially unveiled at the annual Creative Generation exhibition held at GOMA last month.

As I observed the proud looks on the young artists’ faces, this prompted me to ask … What does an exhibition like this mean to students? Why is it important to showcase young students’ artistic achievements in a state institution?

From the perspective of a museum educator now having worked on my fourth consecutive exhibition, the importance of nurturing, valuing and inspiring other Queenslanders to value art expression is paramount.

The Creative Generation Awards are an initiative of the Queensland Government’s Department of Education and Training and are supported by the Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Museum and Gallery Services Queensland. The works on display were selected in 2011 from students across the state — from metropolitan, regional and remote communities, including Townsville, Cairns, Noosa and Goondiwindi.

These young people represent the artists and creative thinkers of the future and it’s exciting to see them exploring and engaging with visual culture and ideas.

The talented artists chosen as recipients of the 2011 Excellence Awards have used a range of media — from the traditional to the latest in technology — to explore topics from Queensland’s devastating floods to the simple joys of family.

Drawn from a field of 467 artworks, these student artists all benefited from a five-day residential workshop in Brisbane at the Queensland College of Art in 2011 where they worked with professional artists.

The 2012-13 touring exhibition will take the selected finalists’ work to audiences across Queensland offering valuable exposure and experience. Queensland Museum and Gallery Services is instrumental in bringing the award-winning works to a wider audience.

Congratulations to all the students who have work in the Awards exhibition and tour — it is a marvellous achievement!

Want to learn more about the works? An exhibition catalogue is available from the Gallery Store or listen directly from the artists as they discuss the techniques, ideas and processes which inspired their award winning work in the specially curated DVD featured in the exhibition. You can view the exhibition at GOMA until 3 June 2012.