Visual Arts

Download these PowerPoint presentations to learn more about Visual Art subjects at MAGS, and the types of careers they can lead to.



Senior Art Subjects - Year 11-13 Visual Art subject choices

Creative Careers - jobs that studying Visual Art can lead you to


Albertian returns to take screenprinting class

Albertian Mr Siliga Setoga is screen print artist who graduated from Whitecliffe with a Master of Fine Arts and has exhibited internationally.

On Friday, 11 November Mr Setoga returned to MAGS on behalf of the Tautai Trust, which fosters Pacific arts, to take an extension class of Year 9 boys.

The 20 boys had a rich and thoughtful lesson which culminated in each of them printing a t-shirt from patterns Mr Setoga helped them develop.

Our thanks for Mr Setoga and the Tautai Trust for giving our boys this opportunity, and to the MAGS Foundation for their encouragement of our visiting artists' programme.

Ms Daniella Aleh, Head of Visual Art

MAGS Foundation supporting Visual Art

The renowned New Zealand artist Sam Mitchell was MAGS' 2016 Artist in Residence. Following her wonderful time here, which was funded by the MAGS Foundation through proceeds from the annual Fine Art Show, Ms Mitchell returned to the school in November to help test the Art Department kiln.

Ms Mitchell's exquisite ceramic painting techniques demonstrate the ancient technique of glaze painting. We are delighted that Sam will be working with us again in 2017 as we introduce a new Ceramic unit of study for our Year 10 students.

Foundation funds have also been used to refurbish all 65 Art Department computers with new solid state hard drives, making them fast enough to be compatible with the latest version of the Adobe Creative Cloud software package This software is crucial to the successful use of creative digital processes across Design, Photography and Painting.

The Foundation has also funded the replacement of seven Lumix Panasonic DX70 compact cameras with manual settings that are used in the Year 11 Photography and Design course.

We are extremely grateful to the Foundation, and the Friends of MAGS parent group which supports its fundraising efforts, for the support and encouragement that we have received this year and look forward to strengthening this relationship next year.

Ms Daniella Aleh, Head of Visual Art

Albertian wins National Contemporary Art Award

Mr Sorawit Songsataya, who attended MAGS from 2001-2005 and won the Art Cup in his final year, has won the 2016 National Contemporary Art Award with a pair of quirky 3D printed vases atop a wooden plant pot holder.

Titled Good Kisser, the work by Auckland artist combines digital and traditional artistry. The Award comes with a cash prize of $20,000.

Awards judge Mr Misal Adnan Yildiz - who named Mr Songsataya as this year's winner at a ceremony at Waikato Museum on Friday, 9 September, said the piece was significant because it evoked artworks of bygone eras, such as the ancient Anatolian goddess statues of Kibele and the "readymades" of French/American artist Marcel Duchamp.

It also referenced personal politics, gender, sexuality and the struggle for equal rights "in the age of Trump", Yildiz said.

The competition, hosted each year by Waikato Museum, has a tradition of attracting unusual works that challenge perceptions.

Real Art Roadshow visits MAGS

The Real Art Roadshow visited Mount Albert Grammar on Tuesday and Wednesday, 9-10 August, and all students who had art classes on these days were able to visit this amazing travelling gallery.

The Roadshow is the brainchild of Ms Fiona Campbell, who bought the awesome collection of contemporary New Zealand art and kitted out two huge travelling trucks as a moveable gallery. It contains 72 works of art, including paintings, photography, sculpture, drawings and mixed media pieces.

The show has toured New Zealand for the past 10 years, visiting schools all over the country. Albertian Mr Paul Forrest was our knowledgeable and engaging gallery guide and I know our students thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity.

Ms Daniella Aleh, Head of Visual Art

Comments from Year 9 students:

Darcy Vasquez: "The Real Art Roadshow has been a beautiful experience, It has showed me that art is made in all types of action, texture and design. Jewellery can also be larger in size. I will continue to focus on artworks critically to recognise why it is made."

Jon Simanu: "Today was a good experience, I like that the teacher was telling us about art that we didn't understand. I would like to go back there."

Krish Patel: "The art gallery is cool.The art is really good because there's a meaning or a story behind the art.I learned a lot about art and the paintings."

Brodie Lunjevich: "It was interesting to see what makes artists paint and what makes them want to do it and how much thought goes into a simple painting."

Ronan Guthrie Hovan: "I was really interested to see all the art and hear the cool stories behind them."

Year 10's Daniella Jeremic: "It was really cool how every artwork told a different story, and it made me realise that every painting, even if it only has blobs of paint, is meaningful. This experience taught me to never judge something just by looking at it. You have to take a few seconds for the artwork to talk to you."

Art Show and Business Market a big success

More photos here

The idea to combine the Visual Art Department's First Board Show with the Year 11 Business Studies Market was a big hit with students, staff and parents on Tuesday, 14 June.

Held in and around E Block, families were able to enjoy the food and drinks prepared by the Business Studies students between viewing art completed so far this year by Year 11-13 students of Painting, Design and Photography. Head of Visual Art Ms Daniella Aleh was pleased with the high standard of the work presented on the boards, which were the completed first stage of the students' end of year portfolios.

Head of Commerce Ms Sarah Hayes says three Year 11 Business classes took part in the Market, which has traditionally been run during a lunchtime. Twenty-three groups developed business plans for food and non-food products with the aim of selling as much as possible on the evening. Most sold out as products such as kebabs, hot dogs, sliders and mocktails were scooped up by hungry patrons. Other products such as candles and bath bombs were also popular.

Ms Aleh and Ms Hayes say the event was so successful they are looking forward to repeating it next year.

Junior Art 2016

Year 9 and 10 Art classes have been busy with two exhibitions in the Small Gallery in E Block to start the year.

In Term 1 they showed a collection of drawings, curated by Year 10 students Ella McCool-Reay and William Kung (left).

Early in Term 2 the Art Club, led by Ms Andre Sampson, installed an impressive cardboard city. Year 9 and 10 students worked individually and in groups through Term 1 to construct buildings out of cardboard boxes, then as a team installed their work in the gallery.

This show was invited to be part of the 'Future Cities' exhibition at the Malcolm Smith Galley, Uxbridge Centre in Howick in June. The Malcolm Smith Gallery is curated by Albertian Mr Balamohan Shingade.












Art students learn from one of New Zealand's best

In the last week of Term 1, Year 10 and 12 Painting classes were given the opportunity to work with one of New Zealand's top artists, Ms Sam Mitchell. The 2010 Wallace Award winner helped students create an acrylic painting in her signature style, working directly onto perspex. She brought in one of her works (below) for students to use as an example.

Ms Mitchell was at MAGS for three days conducting workshops for six classes, rising to the challenge of working with some quite large classes. She said she really enjoyed her time here and commented on the enthusiasm of the students.

Year 10 student Natalie Schoonbee said working with Ms Mitchell introduced her to a different way of painting. "She opened up our eyes to the various styles and inspirations we can use in our own work."

Year 12 student Eleanor Fletcher said: "Experimenting with texture and depth was a challenge; it has been such a great experience."

The MAGS Foundation made Ms Mitchell's visit possible with its inaugural Artist in Residence Grant, funded by proceeds from the annual MAGS Fine Art Show. The students' works will be available to view at this year's Art Show in August.

Ms Mitchell will return later in the year to demonstrate ceramic painting, and will assist us to make fuller use of the school kiln.

Other students' feedback on Ms Mitchell's visit:

“Thank you Sam Mitchell for visiting our classes, we are grateful for your time and expertise. It was inspirational to learn your unique painting style and we had so much fun recreating it for our paintings. You gave us many tips and tricks for painting that will be highly appreciated and overall we had a very enjoyable learning experience." Elise Furze, Year 10

“Sam Mitchell's style is very hard, but also very interesting. It makes you appreciate the skills required to produce such amazing artwork.” Shannon Hoole Year 12

“Having an experienced artist was cool because she taught us another way of making art. The design work we did with her was a good challenge. I enjoyed it very much." Ethan Taumoe Year 12

Art students receive awards

Year 13 Art students Uhila Ngai and Hugo Harvey are recipients of Auckland Art Gallery's Pat Hanley Art Student Awards for demonstrating outstanding commitment and passion for the visual arts, and community awareness.

MAGS' Head of Visual Art, Ms Daniella Aleh, said Uhila had explored her Tongan heritage in design, painting, sculpture and printmaking, integrating elements from her local community into her work.

Hugo painted sophisticated imagery with flair and commitment, has been an active Arts Prefect and role model for the Arts at Mount Albert Grammar School.

Each student received gift packs and membership to the Friends of the Art Gallery.



Art show exhibits student talent

On Thursday, September 24, Visual Art students in Years 11, 12 and 13 displayed their folio boards before they were sent away for marking.

Parents and family were invited to visit and celebrate the effort that our students have put into these works of art across multiple disciplines. Boards from Photography, Design and Painting were on show and the quality of work was testament to the teaching and learning in the Department. A big thank you to the many parents and grandparents who attended.

Ms Daniella Aleh, Head of Visual Art

Junior Art Competition winners

1st: Maya Pellizzaro-Hurrell
Pen and ink

2nd: Ella McCool-Reay
Painting

3rd: Arien Okan
Watercolour

All Year 9 and 10 students were invited to take part in the MAGS Junior Art Competition, with the brief "Out of the Ordinary".

They could submit any original piece of work they had completed during the first half of the year, including photography, painting, design, sculpture and drawing.

The winners, shown above, were presented with their prizes of boxes of art materials at assembly on Monday, 15 June.

Aishia Maka wins art scholarship

The winner of the 2014 Ara Lodge Arts Scholarship is Year 13 student Aishia Maka. She receives $1000 to put towards her tertiary studies.

Aishia, who has excelled in Painting and Photography, will be presented with the Scholarship at the ARA Lodge Fine Art Awards in January. The Awards are made up of top art students from secondary schools across Auckland.

Aishia plans to study Fine Art at either the Elam School of Fine Arts or the Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design.