Commemorative IBDP Visual Arts Exhibition – ‘40 Years On’

As we celebrate 40 years of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at St Leonard’s College, we congratulate the current IBDP Visual Arts students on their exhibitions and acknowledge the wealth of talent seen by our guest artists who exhibited at our special commemorative IBDP Visual Arts Exhibition – ‘40 Years On’.


St Leonard’s College is IB School number 00196.

The number of schools now running the IBDP is well over 5000 in 160 different countries, and we are school 196. It is a treasured part of our heritage.

Authorised for the International Baccalaureate on the first of December 1981 with a graduating cohort in 1982, my four years here are but 10% of the history of artistic endeavour, unbridled creativity, and crushing final deadlines that the St Leonards College Visual Arts department has had to offer.

The program has been nurtured from those early days, and a well-tended sapling has matured into a pivotal part of the academic landscape here at the College. Having started an IBDP Visual Arts program in South Korea, I know how gently those initial delicate seedlings were treated 40 years ago and how much pride there would be from those founding educators surrounding each and every piece of art on display in every exhibition.

They are all part of the creative…

the triumphant,

the disturbed and tortured,

the fabulous,

along with the calamity,

the joy,

the laughter,

and the life.

They are all a part of the history; all key players, all with a starring role.

Despite being here and involved with the IBDP Visual Art program for such a short part of its history, I continue to advocate for the same things those founders would have held dear. The purity of the process, the rigour within the artistic understanding and interpretation of each artwork and the belief in each student in their care.

I believe the arts remain at the heart of our ability to develop as logical thinkers. From inside the box, we can safely navigate eight corners, a floor, a roof, four walls, and the space that those walls allow us. However, when we think of ourselves outside of that box, we can see its complexity, potential, and beauty.

The visual arts, in all emerging forms, are quintessential to innovation. Mathematics alone cannot innovate; Science cannot progress without either a happy accident (these are rare and often quite deadly) or a creative, design-centred approach to a problem.

The world needs creative thinkers, it needs musicians, poets, artists, and those creative thinkers need to be our politicians, our economists, our scientists, and our educational leaders. By centralising the arts, we empower the future. Without these creative minds driving innovation, the envelope will never be pushed.

This ideology has always resonated with the IB Diploma Programme. At its core, it understands that diversity within a secondary school education will make you a better all-round academic.

I appreciate that our universities sometimes insist that a second science be taken instead of an arts-based subject, but all of us involved in the Visual Arts know the truth.

As we celebrate 40 years of the IBDP at St Leonard’s College, we congratulate the current IBDP Visual Arts students on their exhibitions and appreciate the wealth of talent seen by our guest artists who have exhibited this year at the IBDP Visual Arts Exhibition – 40 Years On.



About Our Guest Speaker – Olivia Baenziger (Class of 2011)


We extend our sincere thanks to Olivia Baenziger who was our guest speaker at the exhibition’s official opening on Wednesday 7 September.

Olivia completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at St Leonard’s College in 2011. She continued her tertiary education in fine art and medicine. Her work as a commissioned artist for science communication journals and medical education groups established a regular opportunity to create artwork during her training years. Since her first solo exhibition in 2014, she has continued to paint, primarily using oil and watercolour mediums. Olivia’s creative focus is primarily nature-inspired self-directed work, in addition to taking on commissioned pieces in recent years.



Megan Hall

Head of Learning – Visual Arts