Biographical / Historical
The Visual Arts Education Symposium was coordinated by the Elam School of Fine Arts in collaboration with the University of Auckland Centre for Continuing Education. The first of its kind in New Zealand, the symposium was held over three days from Friday 30 August, to Sunday 1 September 1985, starting at the Waititi Marae, before moving to the University Conference Centre. Senior lecturers John B. Turner, Christine Hellyar and Phil Dadson organised and led the symposium, with administrative help from the Fine Arts Librarian Valerie Richards.
In response to a growing number of concerns relating to fine arts education, and a desire to make changes, the symposium was organised around the theme ‘Towards the Nineties – source and resource’. Key issues that were raised included the incorporation of Māori art into the curriculum, and whether fine arts education addressed both local and national community needs. Issues of communication within fine arts education sectors and the integration of new computer technologies were also discussed.
Over 150 participants from around New Zealand and overseas attended. The group consisted of art, craft and design educators, administrators and practicing artists.