Click on the FIS Logo above to go to FIS main website. This page updated: September 2012
Here you can learn about some of the recent museum trips, special projects and exhibitions outings that have been sponsored by the Upper School Visual Arts Department recently, as well as look at slide shows of our students engaging in activities that enhance their education in art beyond what is outlined in our curriculum.
The Historical Portrait Project
Students in Mr Trebel's and Ms Crowe's IB art classes are embarking on one of their largest challenges yet - to complete a life-sized portrait of their favorite figure from history. The completed 80 x 200 cm paintings and life sized ceramic busts will be kept on permanent display in the halls of the Arts, Science and Technology building on the Main Campus of FIS.
Students have to research their subject thoroughly, develop their own image of them that successfully conveys a convincing likeness, and write up a 300-word statement detailing their contributions to history. The finished works will be displayed in order to teach, inspire and entertain the rest of our school community. 21 finished portaits will be completed this year, with an additional 10-15 every year added by each successive IB Year 1 class.
Click on the image to the left for a slide show of our students at work on their historical portraits.
For a .pdf of the original assignment sheet given to the students in preparation for this project, click here.
Verena, an IB2 students i n Mr Trebel's class, begins to paint in the background of her full-length portrait of actor Michael Caine. Click the image for a slideshow of photos of our young artists at work on their portraits in the studio.
FIS IB Visual Arts students head to Metz, France to visit the newly opened Centre Pompidou
A brief video of our IB students' time in Metz, touring the Masterpiece? exhibition at the Pompidou and discussing what they learned in Mr Trebel's studio afterwards.
The annual outings of IB Diploma art students (grades 11 and 12) to visit the great museums of Europe continued with the 2010 IB class trip to the Centre Pompidou, newly opened in May in the city of Metz, France, and only three hours drive from Frankfurt. Thirty-one students in the IB art classes led by Mr. Trebel and Ms. Crowe, enjoyed a fine day of intensive contextual and critical research in one of Europe's premier venues for the exhibition of modern and contemporary art.
Arriving Friday in Metz, our young artists spent 4 hours sketching and painting views of the stunning mustard-yellow Gothic achitecture of the old city before retiring for a memorable evening of French cuisine and singing in one of the oldest public squares in the town. The next morning, they were up and touring the fabulous Masterpiece? exhibition at the Pompidou. Their investigations at the museum were in preparation for presentations that each of them will do back in FIS, questioning many of the notions associated with the concept of masterpiece and developing a critical awareness of how culture and history contribute at times to artifical constructs like art-object status and the celebration of exalted art. For a slide show, click here.
For more information on the Centre Pompidou, Metz follow this link:
Kalahari Experience: A Vernissage for a Very Special Student Exhibition
On Wedneday, 12 December 2008, FIS celebrated the opening of a very unique exhibition of student work. Emir (a grade 12 student enrolled in the Diploma Level Visual Arts at FIS) returned in 2007 from his experience in the Kalahari desert, where FIS has been working with the local South African authorities for nearly 20 years to build schools, raise the eductaion level of the people of that area and develop closer global ties between their community and ours. During his time there, Emir had taken hundreds of stunning photos to form a photo essay of his impressions of the people and life in the Kalahari. With sponorship from both the Head of School, Mark Ulfers, and the Upper School Visual Arts Department, Emir assembled 24 large-scale,
beautifully printed images from his photo essay for exhibition in the school's Arts, Science & Technology building from 3-19 December 2008. His images were for sale, with all proceeds of the sales going to support the continuing efforts of the Kalahari Experience project at FIS. Well done, Emir!
Click here for more information on the FIS Kalahari Experience.
ISW Builds Towers in the Sun: Artist in Residence Susanne Wadle guides a second schoolwide sculpture project at the Wiesbaden campus
Susanne Wadle, gifted construction and installation artist, made a return to the Wiesbaden campus at the end of May to conduct a three-day workshop for students in the lower grades there. Working with Ms. Trebel and her Grades 2 to 6 artists, Susanne directed teams of busy workers in the construction of large-scale architectural forms made of different thicknesses of bamboo poles lashed together. Some of the critical joints needed additional structural enhancement and were reinforced with papier mache for extra strength and durability. several of the structures actually exceeded 3 meters (10 feet). Students learned about weight distribution, flexibility of materials and the effects of wind while striving to erect graceful geometric forms. Click here or on the images above for a slide show of their efforts.
The finished sculptures, six in all, remained outside the school for a period of time beofre they were dismantled. Sections of three of them remain on display in the large interior spacde of the central atrium of the school. Another successful and creative workshop by Susanne and her 200 helpers. Well done, ISW artists!
One of the real challenges of having a large international school art program in Frankfurt only occurs every five years - how to get a large group of students up the road to one of the biggest arts events on the planet and then back to FIS all on the same day. We have to. It's too far to go for an hour or two and too close to make it an overnight. So we go for a day, and pack it all in. Our tour of Documenta is a slow moving motion picture: frame after frame after frame. Artwork, move quick, artwork, move quick, another artwork.
And so the day begins. A tense bus ride - two hours avoiding traffic jams and construction. Hessian fields and crumbling castles silhouetted against the hazy skies. And then we are there. Sporadic movement. Instructions. Guidance. Groups led off by hesitant teachers. Divided. One group heads for the Friedricianum and the other the Neue Gallerie. In the end we will all meet down in the valley in the Aue Pavilion.Yet our students seem to thrive on the stress of wanting to take it all in. They want to dare themselves to see it all. That's clear. They rush. They stop. Gawk. Ponder and move on. A sense of purpose. It lasts until dusk.
There aren't many moments like this - precious few. One of the greatest art events of the decade, and our IB students are here to see it, to pick their way through the pavilions, skirt the collapsed arch, rake their hands through the dried poppy field and wait in line for their hand baggage at each exit. This is Documenta. Evasive. Informal. Clean. Marginally provocative. Humorous and engaging. Down to earth. Egalitarian, in its way. This is a day looking at contemporary art without blinking or giggling; it's one of the more memorable challenges our students will have in their high school education and one moment in their art education which will continue to benefit them for the next two years. It is a playground and a milestone at once.
Grade 10 Abstractions 2009-10 Exhibit to Open in Upper School Art Department Gallery
Click here to go to Student Work page where a gallery of Grade 10 Abstractions can be viewed.
Marlies (middle), an FIS Grade 10 art student, works with two new friends from BBIS to interpret the artworks they were assigned to research. Click on the image for a brief slide show of our Grade 10 art students working with their peers in Berlin-Brandenburg International School.
Grade 10 Foundations Art Students Learn About Interpretation in Berlin
August 2012 at Berlin Brandenburg International School
Its not often that international school students get to visit other international schools for art projects. But when our school decided to send its entire grade 10 class (135 students) to Berlin for the week of August 27-31, we knew we had a unique opportunity in front of us - for years now, the art instructors from FIS and Berlin-Brandenburg International Schools have worked together developing and sharing ideas for a coordinated teaching strategy focused on making young art students more conscious of the various levels and means of looking at and interpreting visual images. So it was, on Friday, 31 August, that fourteen grade 10 students participated in a morning-long workshop with their BBIS grade 10 counterparts on interpreting meaning in images. BBIS art intructors John and Beate Vanden Branden, with FIS' Darren Trebel, lead the students in an exercise in learning to recognize various levels of interpretation in art. Divided into mixed smaller groups, the students examined and researched works of art from the Nazi era, and compared them to similar, so-called "Degenerate" works rejected by the Nazis in 1938. It was a quick visit, but superbly organized and appreciated by the students involved. Thanks to all the students at BBIS for your hospitality and to John and Beate for your hard work.
FIS IB Visual Arts in Tuscany: A week making art in the heart of Italy!
The IB Diploma Level Visual Arts students were given a rare opportunity over the fall break to visit and work in the very heart of Tuscany. Mr. Trebel and Ms. Crowe, the IB Visual Arts instructors in the Upper School, accompanied 10 of their IB art students to a stunning 16th century villa in the Tuscan countryside, just 7 kilometres south of Cortona, Italy. There, the students spent their days working in collage, using encaustic (wax) and transfer techniques and venturing out into the beautiful landscape to paint in oils al fresco. They spent their evenings swimming in the villa's pool and taking turns shopping in the local market, practicing their Italian and cooking sumptuous dinners for the whole group. On Wednesday, 5 October, the classes spent the day in Florence, touring the fabulous Uffizi Galleries and taking in the sights, smells and tastes of the birthplace of Renaissance art. By the end of the week, all of the young practicing artists returned to Frankfurt with 5 or 6 new artworks, many freshly completed pages in their sketchbooks and a host of memories of a superb week spent among the cypress trees and rolling hills of central Tuscany.
Ms Friederike Baigent, of the Helene-Lange Gymnasium in Hamburg, examines the artwork of Erica, a second year IB student at FIS.
Click here for a slide show of images from the Mock Exams at FIS pervious years.
Mock exams this year occurred 27-29 November and featured visiting examiners from two prominent international schools in Germany. FIS welcomed Ms Friederike Baigent (Helene-Lange Gymnasium, Hamburg), and Ms Shoni Devitt (Thuringia International School, Weimar) for three days to its hallways to examine the 13 Diploma Level art students who are approaching graduation in May.
This year, for the second time, we brought in two complete strangers - that is, objective observers - to give a more accurate assessment of our students. Making it real - that's what education at FIS is all about. And this year, the seniors had it VERY real.
We extend our appreciation to our two distingushed andprofessional visiting mock examiners and we would like to extend an invitation to any experienced IB visual arts teacher to come to our school in the first week of December (perhaps as a professional development exercise) and mock examine our students. Please contact the Head of Visual Arts if you are interested in participating in our visting mock examiner program.
A brief video of the Mock Exam experience at FIS
FIS IB Diploma Art Students spend a day at the MMK: Visual Arts meets TOK
The annual outing of the IB students (grades 11 and 12) to visit the great art museums of Frankfurt continued with the 2009 IB class trip to the Museum fur Moderne Kunst (MMK) on 23 October 2009. 34 students in the IB art classes led by Mr. Trebel and Ms. Murray, enjoyed a fine day of intensive contextual and critical research in one of Europe's premier venues for the exhibition of contemporary art. In the MMK, the students were introduced to the film, video and painted works of the artist Jack Goldstein. They also prowled the galleries taking in Minimalist works by Fred Sandbach, Donald Judd and Blinkey Palermo. Videos by Sarah Morris and Bruce Naumann provided additional material upon which to reflect. Jewels of the permanent collection from Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and David Hockney were also on the tour. The students spent the last hour of their day in the museum discussing problems of knowledge associated with the Visual Arts, as the video above shows. An excellent day abroad, learning about art by taking in some of the more challenging works of late twenthieth century artists. For a slide show, click here.
A brief, 3-minute video of our experience in the Museum fur Moderne Kunst (MMK)
Katharina and Maxine, IB2 Visual Arts students at FIS, stroll through the Goldstein exhibit in Frankfurt during our tour.Click on the image for a slide show of our visit.
For information on the MMK Frankfurt and the Jack Goldstein exhibit, click the link below.