– Highlights

Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec


The National 2017

30 Mar - 18 Jun


Kader Attia

12 Apr - 30 Jul

– Learning Events


Art Safari

28 Apr, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

Special Event

ARTBAR April 2017

28 Apr, 7.00pm, MCA



03 May, 6.30pm, Level 3: Digital Studio in NCCL

– News from inside the MCA

Young Art Lovers' Book List

To celebrate World Book Day (Sunday 23 April) the MCA Store and MCA Learning crew have teamed up to put together a selection of fun, inspiring and engaging titles sure to spark the imaginations of budding artists and creative thinkers. more

From the archives: Curious catalogue

Never judge a book by its cover? In this issue of our monthly archive series, MCA Archives and Records Management Coordinator, Stephanie, leafs through some unusual pages more

Girl On Film: Erin Coates

The National 2017: New Australian Art artist Erin Coates gets in the driving seat for our April film experience more

– Spotlights from the collection online

MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

Blog – Building Confidence

Posted on Jan. 28, 2016 by Sue Salier in Creative Learning. View Comments

We offer the Unpacking Unseen Artworks program for senior students to assist students in preparing for the HSC but the program assists students grow in confidence and reclaim the certainty of their youth in their encounters with contemporary art.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he/she grows up.

Pablo Picasso

This statement by Picasso can apply not only to art-making but to art viewing.
We all want our students to be confident and many start this way. One of the best aspects of my work at the MCA is engaging young students from stage 1, 2 and 3 with MCA artworks. Their uninhibited comments expressing viewpoints and opinions without fear of ‘the wrong answer’ or what others think, is delightful. However, many of these students somehow develop doubt as they move toward secondary school and beyond. This can often be observed in the uncertainty evidenced in Senior Visual Arts students preparing for Section I of the HSC Art Criticism and Art History paper. Our programs aim to remedy this concern. Like Picasso we want these students to remember the certainty of their youth.

We aim to build confidence in senior students who attend the Unpacking Unseen Artworks program. This is obviously somethings teachers do all the time in the classroom however nothing can replace the EXPERIENCE of an artwork. This whole program is held inside the galleries where we encourage the students to do the talking. With a few leading questions we aim for each student to support their comments, experience, response and observations with evidence from the art work. To keep exploring an idea and develop it more thoroughly. To go beyond mere description. To keep unpacking their ideas. To look at concepts, artists practice, to be aware of all five senses. To suck all meaning out of a label. To look. To talk. To debate.

One of the most rewarding aspects of facilitating this program is seeing students grow in confidence as they demonstrate that they can read a contemporary artwork, that they are better equipped than they realise. They gradually become empowered to bring their own independent ideas forward more confidently.

Many students benefit from the Unpacking Unseen Artworks program. They leave with a little more confidence than when they arrived and hopefully continue to build upon the experience throughout their lives. They reclaim the certainty of their youth.

Visit MCA Learn to find out more about our Secondary School programs.

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Students talking with MCA Artist Educator Sue Salier

Reddam House students engage in an Unpacking Unseen Images program with Artist Educator Sue Salier

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Sue Salier

Sue Salier has been an Artist Educator at the MCA since 2007. She has a degree in Education and an MA in Curatorship & Modern Art from Sydney University. In addition to her work at the MCA, and her own art practice, Sue also teaches Visual Arts part time in a local secondary School.

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