Top Arts 2020 at NGV Australia

The inspiring Top Arts 2020 is returning to The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia from 13 March 2020. It will showcase artworks from Victoria’s brightest emerging student artists.

Top Arts 2020 at NGV Australia
Memphis Neagle. Lost–Series of Seven 2019. Matte photographic paper, Firbank Grammar School

Drawn from over 1,700 submissions from schools across Victoria, Top Arts 2020 presents artworks from 43 students who have excelled in VCE Art and Studio Arts. Themes explored by the exhibiting artists include mental health, the impact of technology on everyday life, diversity and identity. Working across mediums including painting, sculpture, performance art, theatre, photography and animation, students have undertaken comprehensive research to create innovative and complex artworks.

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Top Arts 2020 at NGV Australia
Bonni McLaren. Where did you go? 2019. Gouache on 300gsm watercolour paper
55.5 x 72.5 (framed), Trinity College Colac

‘Top Arts 2020 showcases the amazing breadth of young artists using their voice to speak out against injustice and generate awareness of issues and ideas that concern the youth of today. This is our 26th year of Top Arts and we’re so proud to continue to support and celebrate art education and provide more opportunities for students to engage with the arts and share their art with peers.’
Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV

Top Arts 2020 at NGV Australia
Corey Lyu. The Siren’s Song 2019. Ceramic 77.0 x 61.0 x 36.0 cm, Camberwell Grammar School

Artworks in the exhibition are selected by a panel of four judges: Rachael Miller, Victorian Curriculum And Assessment Authority (VCAA) State Reviewer VCE Art; Giuliana D’Angelo, VCAA State Reviewer VCE Studio Arts; Julie Bond, VCAA Regional Representative and David Menzies, NGV Educator and Top Arts curator.

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Top Arts 2020 at NGV Australia
Zach Smyrnis. The Uni-Diverse Command 2019 from the Progress Comics series 2019. Copic markers, fineliner, pencil on hot press paper 31.3 x 21.8 cm, Oakleigh Grammar

Exhibition highlights include Zach Smyrnis’s Progress Comics 2019 (above image), a vibrant series of comic book covers titled The Patriarchy Punishers, The Uni-Diverse Command and The LGBTeam. Influenced by street artist Keith Haring and comic book writer Frank Miller the work showcases characters inspired by modern-day activists such as Malala Yousafzai, Antoni Porowski, and Lizzo fighting for gender, sexuality and race equality.

Top Arts 2020 at NGV Australia
Angelo Ooi
Transience 2019 and Manifestations 2019. White raku clay, red iron oxide, black iron
oxide, copper carbonate, salt, gum leaves, gum nuts, orange peels, Xavier College

Race and identity are resonant themes throughout the exhibition. Angelo Ooi’s ceramic vessels Transience 2019 and Manifestations 2019 (above image) draw inspiration from his Australian upbringing and Malaysian-Chinese heritage.

Top Arts 2020 at NGV Australia
Dusty Diddle. An Index of Childhood Memories, Anger and Intervention 2019. Fine-liner and calligraphy pen on cardboard pieces inside a found set of metal drawers 41.0 x 26.8 x 61.0 cm, Eltham High School

Dusty Diddle’s interactive protest artwork An Index of Childhood Memories, Anger and Intervention 2019 (above image) features 32 hand-drawn postcards stored in a filing cabinet reflecting the artist’s wish to positively challenge racism.

Top Arts 2020 at NGV Australia
Shae Jones. Portrait of Murrundindi 2019. Oil on canvas 183.0 x 91.0 cm, St Margaret’s School

Portraiture also features extensively, including Shae Jones’s Portrait of Murrundindi 2019 (above image), a large scale painting depicting Wurundjeri Elder Murrundindi.

Top Arts 2020 at NGV Australia
Lucy Randall. The Shuffler 2019. Polymer clay on wooden base 13.0 x 32.0 x 7.5 cm, St Leonard’s College

In a moving reflection of suburban life, Lucy Randall takes inspiration from her 87-year-old neighbour as he runs around the streets of Hampton in the hyper-realistic sculpture The Shuffler 2019 (above image).

Top Arts 2020 at NGV Australia
Tasmia Islam. Holding Life 2019. Oil on canvas 35.56 x 35.56 cm, Suzanne Cory High School

Building on the success of Top Arts 2019, which welcomed over 25,000 students and teachers to the exhibition and learning programs and events, Top Arts 2020 will be complemented by a dynamic schedule of social and learning opportunities including artist presentations and virtual tours for students in regional and remote areas. Programming also includes introductory talks and folio viewings to inspire and support current VCE students in their Art and Studio Art studies.

Building on the success of Top Arts 2019, which welcomed over 25,000 students and teachers to the exhibition and learning programs and events, Top Arts 2020 will be complemented by a dynamic schedule of social and learning opportunities including artist presentations and virtual tours for students in regional and remote areas. Programming also includes introductory talks and folio viewings to inspire and support current VCE students in their Art and Studio Art studies.

Date: 13 March 2020 – 12 July 2020
Time: 10am–5pm daily
Location: Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square
Price: FREE
More information

Main image: In her self-portrait patchwork 2019 (main image), Cat Distell combines different materials and textures to challenge our understanding of the fabric of identity. Cat Distel. Patchwork 2019. Digital collage 83.7 x 59.5 cm. The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School

Kiddiehood

We try our best to provide accurate information on kid-friendly events around Victoria, but we do recommend that parents check details directly to confirm dates, times, prices as some details may be subject to change.

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