Art students at Guilford Young College have been encouraged to pursue art as a career if that is where their passion lies.

Brigita Ozolins is an artist and a senior lecturer at the University of Tasmania’s School of Creative Arts. She is best known for her large-scale installations that explore the links between language, history and identity, such as Kryptos and Graphos at MONA and The Reading Room at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Ms Ozolins exhibits widely in solo and group exhibitions, and as well is completing a number of commissions for MONA, has developed site-specific work for the State Library of Tasmania, the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, Ten Days on the Island and the National Library of Latvia. She has received numerous artistic grants, including the 2008 inaugural Qantas Contemporary Art Award, Australian Council residencies in New York and London the et+t residency in Riga, the Cite Internationale residency in Paris and Arts Tasmania residencies at Gorge Cottage and Port Arthur, Ms Ozolins is represented by the Bett Gallery, Hobart.

Artist and academic Brigita Ozolins, in officially opening the 2018 GYC Art Exhibition, said that art offered a “most rich, unique and often incredibly magical and moving snapshot of the world and our place in it”, now and throughout history.

“It is a visual map of our hearts, our minds and our politics, and I think it is one of the greatest paths to follow,” she said.

However, career in visual arts was not a soft option.

“Pursuing a career in visual arts is really quite a tough decision, but it is an incredibly courageous, rewarding and challenging path to take.”

Ms Ozolins congratulated the students on developing their artistic skills and critical thinking throughout the year.

“It is a huge and very handsome show that demonstrates a really high level of commitment, exploration and passion for visual art.”

She also congratulated the teachers for their energy, patience, dedication and time that had gone into helping students develop ideas, think and rethink them and then resolve the work for examination.

She praised the display of work as a superb exhibition.

“You have offered up a glimpse into your hearts and your minds through your art and that is an extraordinary achievement,” she said.

Winner of one of the People’s Choice awards Megan Bonnily is pictured in front of her large work with several members of her family.

The exhibition represented the culmination of this year’s work for 137 Art and Photography students in Years 11 and 12, from both Campuses.

It had two purposes: to hang the students’ work for evaluation by TASC examiners and to make the work available to proud family, friends and the public.

Several of the students received a 2018 GYC Art Prize.

Art Prize works are selected on the basis of their artistic merit and suitability for permanent display in the College.

The GYC Art Prize recipients were Anna Reid, Bridie Stolp, Zakkary Long, Jake Bailey, Georgia Saunders and Jack Costello. Pieces by Megan Bonnily and Joseph Howlett were voted the People’s Choice.

The GYC Art and Photography teachers were Mr Matthew Stolp and Miss Gillian Crothers on the Glenorchy Campus and Ms Meg Jenkins on the Hobart Campus.

full text of Ms Ozolins’ speech: art exhibition official opening

GYC Art Prize winner

GYC Art Prize winner

GYC Art Prize winner

Zakkary Long and his art teach Meg Jenkins is front of some of his large work.

Sophie Harwood and her exhibit based on femininity.

A small section of the many guests who attended the opening. They are listening to the Principal Mr Craig Deayton welcome artist and academic Brigita Ozolins before she officially opened the exhibition.