Professional development opportunity for arts educators

The National Gallery of Australia’s visual arts education conference returns January 2024.
Professional development. Image is a man in shorts and T shit with hands in pockets, standing in front of a wall of artworks.

The National Visual Art Education Conference (NVAEC) is open for registrations, with audiences invited to attend in person in Kamberri/Canberra or online from 22 to 24 January 2024. NVAEC will be a fruitful gathering of teachers, artists and cultural practitioners, all set to inspire and showcase best-practice teaching and learning in the visual arts. 

Keynote speakers in 2024 are globally recognised contemporary artists, curators and technology specialists. They include Brooke A Minto, the Executive Director and CEO of the Columbus Museum of Art; Jennifer Lehe, the Beth Crane and Richard McKee Director of Learning Innovation at the Columbus Museum of Art; Ming Wong, a Singaporean contemporary artist who lives and works in Berlin; Tony Albert (Girramay/Yidinji/Kuku-Yalanji peoples), Australian artist and Sydney Biennale Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain First Nations Curatorial Fellow.

Also appearing will be Kelli Cole (Warumungu and Luritja peoples), the National Gallery’s Curator Special Projects, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art; and Mikaela Jade (Cabrogal peoples), founder Indigital: Australia’s first Indigenous edu-tech company.

‘In 2024, the NVAEC will bring together educators, artists and thought leaders from across Australia and internationally to provoke conversations and new ways of thinking about best practice to engage with the key issues of our time through creative learning opportunities that have art and artists at their core,’ says Georgia Close, the National Gallery’s Head of National Learning.

The NVAEC program

Now in its fifth iteration, the NVAEC theme this year is ‘Repositioning’ – a deliberate provocation to regard the world through both a curious and critical lens in terms of our engagement with art and pedagogy. How can we come up with new ways to think about and disseminate our work and to navigate the spaces where learning thrives?

NVAEC 2024 will investigate this theme through several perspectives, including First Nations knowledge, cutting edge technologies, gender equity, access and well-being. Two major exhibitions will be on display at the National Gallery during the conference to spark ideas and further conversation – Emily Kam Kngwarray, and Jordan Wolfson’s Body Sculpture.

The National Gallery invites participants  to consider the major exhibition Emily Kam Kngwarray as a starting point, and to centre First Nations perspectives through a program of keynote presentations and practical workshops. The exhibition will showcase an extensive survey of Kngwarray’s work, from early vibrant batik textiles to later monumental paintings on canvas. A selection of paintings, textiles and works on paper will also be drawn from international and national collections.

The first solo presentation of Wolfson’s work in Australia, the world premiere of Body Sculpture combines sculpture and performance to generate emotional and physical responses in the viewer. His animatronic sculptures exist at the nexus between art history and new technology and provide an entry point to reflect on the issues facing society and our own place within them.

The NVAEC program, structured as a development opportunity for educators working in schools, arts, health and community organisations, is supported by National Gallery Learning and Digital Patron Tim Fairfax AC.

NVAEC tickets are available now. Book now to secure early bird prices for on-site participation. The conference will begin on the afternoon of Monday 22 January 2024 and conclude at 5pm on Wednesday 24 January 2024.

Thuy On is Reviews Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her first book, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was published by University of Western Australia Press (UWAP). Her next collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Twitter: @thuy_on