Connecting to the Classroom

A competition is an effective tool that can be used to encourage students to work towards a goal, both individually and as part of a team; for them to participate in a broader community initiative, receiving recognition and reward. Here’s a few suggested starting points on how Zart’s Student Competition can be incorporated into your classroom.

2022 Student Art Competition Theme: My Environment

Environments are spaces in which we live, learn and discover.

This year’s theme ‘My Environment’ offers an opportunity for students to explore and express their personal interpretation of the theme and to share their ‘environment’ with each other, the Australian school community, through art making.

The meaning of environment is different for everyone, there’s a myriad of interpretations and ideas that can be explored. Students may choose to focus on ‘My Environment’ from an objective perspective or respond to how their environment makes them feel. Areas of exploration may include landscape, architecture, flora and fauna, the outdoors, indoor spaces, family and community, climate change, self, or an eco-system. All can be interpreted as linking to ‘My Environment’.

Discussion starting points, exploring ‘environments’ with students

  • Compare the differences between outdoor and indoor environments. What are the differences between the shapes, surfaces, textures and colours?
  • Go for a walk or perhaps stay inside. What do you observe around you, what do you feel, see or hear?
  • Sometimes environments can be damaged or threatened. Can you think of any examples? How does this make you feel?
  • Compare where you live and the environment around you to that of someone in another country. What are the similarities and differences?
  • Discuss the differences between living in a large city and living in the country. What are the different experiences that could be gained from these environments? How may an environment impact upon someone?
  • What is your ideal environment? If you could choose to live anywhere what would that environment look like?
  • What are some different animal habitats? Some animals live in warm climates, others in cold – can you think of any examples? How do different environments suit different species?

Introducing the art making process

  • Instruct students to choose one thing from their environment that they can bring into class. Discuss ways that their environment can be made. Explore drawing, collage, painting, model making, dioramas etc.
  • Instruct students to sketch three different environments that they have interacted with in the past week e.g. their house, school, shopping centre, local park.
  • Explore work of artists such as John Dahlsen and William Wareham.
  • Compare and contrast the landscape paintings by Albert Namatjira to those of Vincent Van Gogh, and discuss the difference in the way the landscape is represented.