It isn’t every day that teachers, artists and administrators from across the fine arts sector come together for rigorous and constructive debate over the state of fine arts education in the nation. The 1985 Visual Arts Education Symposium, the first of its kind in New Zealand, aimed to bring these groups together and focus on common issues. This collection of recordings capture the speeches, debates and recommendations made over the course of this ambitious and formative conference.
Organised by Elam staff, in collaboration with the Auckland University Centre for Continuing Education, the conference attracted over 150 participants from around New Zealand and overseas. This eclectic group comprised of art, craft and design educators, administrators and practicing artists.
Developed in response to a growing number of concerns relating to fine arts education, the Symposium’s theme was ‘Towards the Nineties – source and resource’; an agenda that focused on crafting and initiating long lasting solutions to identified issues.1 Debates centred around the need for fine arts education to address both local and national community needs. There was a particular focus on how Māori art should be taught and incorporated into the New Zealand curriculum, as well as issues of communication within fine arts education sector and the incorporation of new computer technologies.
The conference featured a number of key note speakers including master carver Paki Harrison, Australian artist and lecturer Jim Allen, and practicing artists Gretchen Albrecht and Para Matchitt.
This collection of recordings is part of the Fine Arts Library Special Collections. Listen to digitised copies of the recordings by clicking on the links in the finding aid available from the Catalogue.
Emily Frew, on behalf of The Fine Arts Library
1 Valarie Richards, ‘Visual Arts Education Symposium 1985: A report by Valarie Richards’, Agmanz Journal, 16, no.3 (1985), 21