Opinion | Graduate Show Seasonal Round-Up

Now in mid-November, we’re already well in the midst of the graduate show season. Art school graduate shows are, for me, a highlight of the years end. It’s an excellent way to get to know fresh faces, familiarise yourself with new or recurring concerns of artists, and can offer a contextual basis to an artist’s work you may get to see develop over the coming years.

Maybe this is an optimistic view, art school after all is not inseparable from the art market, but in an environment that leaves itself open to experimentation you also get to witness the work of artists not exposed to certain financial pressures – in the wild. No doubt the work you encounter can be a far cry from that you might see in a dealer space. For example, Kalisolaite ‘Uhila’s fourteen hour performance piece in AD15, Maumau Taimi/Wasting Time.

Perhaps my favourite element of the end of year exhibitions is the unexpectedness. The artists often sit contradictorily side-by-side, a plethora of styles, approaches, and ideas. Without an all-encompassing press release, unifying idea, or body of text as would usually be provided with a group show, there is an inability to predict what’s to come, what you’ll see, and how you’ll feel.

Here’s a small round-up of the end of year shows happening around the country, let us know if there’s any you want listed from your area:

Whitecliffe | Monday November 9 – Thursday November 26

MIT Jewellery Students | Monday November 16 – Sunday November 29

Wintec School of Media Arts | Monday November 16 – Sunday November 29

CPIT | Tuesday November 17 – Thursday November 26

UCOL Institute of Commercial Photography, Auckland | Thursday November 19 – Friday November 27

Whitireia, Toast and Oranga Wairua | Various Dates

Dunedin School of Art | Saturday November 21 – Thursday November 26

Unitec | Thursday November 26 – Thursday December 3

Elam | Saturday November 28 and Sunday November 29

Hungry Creek | Saturday November 28 – Saturday December 5

UCOL, Whanganui | Sunday November 22 – Sunday November 29

Massey, Palmerston North | Friday December 4 – Sunday April 17 (a special exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of Toioho ki Apiti, Māori Visual Art at Massey University in Palmerston North)

Ilam (has now finished)

AUT (has now finished)

Massey, Wellington (has now finished)