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Welcome to BIS

Bavarian International School opens its doors for visual art exhibition 

Students of nine nationalities present two years of

creative work

Vivien Nguyen (Vietnam, Germany) presented her final art pieces after two years of work

The Bavarian International School hosted its Visual Art Exhibition on Wednesday, 30 March 2022 on its Haimhausen Campus, welcoming guests to view artworks by 13 students, as part of their grade 12 fine arts assessment of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP). The student group represented nine different nationalities and prepared creative works in the genres of painting, mixed media, photography, film, installation, sculpture, and fashion. 

“The visual art students in this year 2022 are particularly sensitive to the world around them, I feel, as the world in which they live is in particularly turbulent times,” said Sarah Proudler, Visual Arts Teacher at BIS and the lead mentor of this cohort of soon-to-be-graduates. “The effect of Covid on everyday life, world conflict, crisis and pressures of society make their voices more poignant than ever.”

While guests walked around the Haimhausen Schloss to view the works, the students presented their personal viewpoints on issues which are important to them individually, such as care of the environment, social pressures and body image, cultural diversity and world strife. 

“This is a unique opportunity for us as an audience to join them in understanding their concerns,” said Proudler. 

The IBDP facilitates an individual course of study. Students choose their topics, theme, symbolism or messages for a variety of works in different media. They drive their own artistic intent, developing an individual visual language which is then showcased for assessment at the end of a two year time period. 

The visual art exhibition is an annual tradition at BIS. This year’s cohort represents nine different nationalities: Israel, Germany, England, USA, Switzerland, Vietnam, Bolivia, Italy, and South Africa. Participating students were Anna Borowski (Israel, Germany), Georgina Darbyshire-Jenkins (United Kingdom), Linda Förster (Germany, USA), Nicola Hengstmann (Germany), Vivienne Holsman (USA, Germany), Clemens Kaiser (Germany, Switzerland), Charlott Kimmerling (Germany), Olivia McNab (Germany, United Kingdom, USA), Vivien Nguyen (Vietnam, Germany), Giulia Pomponi (Bolivia, Italy), Finn Schlamp (USA, Germany), Ric Schmerz (Germany), and Luca Stiphout (South Africa). 

“I learned that art isn’t always about just making it pretty”

Vivienne Holsman has been a BIS student for 13 years, since reception. Born in Texas to a German mother and American father, Vivienne intends to study business and marketing in media design after graduating from BIS. While the pandemic certainly created extra challenges for her artistic work, it also gave her the opportunity to view the process in a new way. 

Vivenne Holsman (USA, Germany) is one of 13 students who presented final art pieces on Wednesday

“The art has become a way to destress myself and something to put my emotion into. It was a nice outlet to have something consistent during school, to always come back to the art,” said Vivienne. “I didn’t really realize how much impact and emotions the pandemic brought into my art. It was stressful, which is reflected in why I need to do art. During the worst lockdown, I did one piece that was a mixed media collage. And I struggled with it so much. Doing it independently without my classmates and Ms. Proudler there for feedback was quite hard. But it also helped me express myself during the pandemic. It was nice to have the canvas there.”

“I wish I had learned earlier in the two years of work that art could be a personal outlet. In the beginning I saw it just as a homework assignment. But then I learned that art isn’t always about just making it pretty,” said Vivienne. “Ms. Proudler is a great teacher. She’s always supportive, listening to ideas, even if they’re a bit crazy. She helped push me outside of the box and challenged me to not just make a pretty picture.”

“You start with an idea and it will change 100 times before you have your final piece”

Ric Schmerz was born and raised in Germany and has been at BIS for four years. He came to BIS because he wanted an international environment. He began with a focus on drama but then changed to visual arts for grades 11 and 12. One of his pieces for the art exhibition was a virtual reality experience. 

Ric Schmerz (Germany) is one of 13 students who presented various art pieces at the exhibition

“This was a risk and I’m not sure if it will pay off, but I think it will and I’m excited to see the audience’s reaction to my work,” said Ric. 

Ric focused on global issues of our modern society, where each artwork is dedicated to a different issue.

“You start with an idea and it will change 100 times before you have your final piece. Then you can look back at the process and reflect on it. That development of a piece is quite important.”

“In the classroom, we have a dynamic, fun atmosphere. Whether we are working alone or doing group critiques, we can collaborate and give each other advice. It’s fun,” said Ric. “Ms. Proudler gets the best out of us. She challenges us in the best way possible. She pushes us to push our own boundaries and limits, which is difficult but helpful in developing our ideas, making them more meaningful and deep.”

Sarah Proudler is a Visual Arts Teacher at BIS

Ric is applying to universities in London and New York to study art history. 

“There is a sense of accomplishment. In two years of work I can see my development as an artist, the development of the themes in my artwork. It feels like a milestone,” said Ric. “It’s the end of my current body of work. Two years are concluded. But certain thematic aspects will influence my future development as a creative person.”

You can find portraits of 12 students (one student was not present at the exhibition) on our BIS Instagram and Facebook channels. 

Photography by Sebastian Stiphout.