NVAEC 2019

At the Heart: Inspiration, Bravery, Compassion and Connection

21 – 23 January 2019

For conference enquiries email nvaec@nga.gov.au.

Education programs, including the National Visual Art Education Conference, are generously supported by Tim Fairfax AC in honour of Betty Churcher.

Banner image: Sally Smart The choreography of cutting (the pedagogical puppet projects) 2012–15 (detail), synthetic polymer paint, conte crayon, oil pastel and pencil on canvas and paper, fabric, wood, cardboard, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2016

Overview | Speakers + Artists | Registration | Bursaries | Venue + Travel | Papers | Workshops | Short talks | Videos


As the NGA is at the heart of our nation’s visual culture it is fitting that we welcome visual arts educators from across the country to come together in January 2019 for our fourth National Visual Art Education Conference.

At NVAEC in 2019 we are asking:
What is at the heart of art education?

We believe teachers are at the heart. Teachers are the heartbeat, they are art advocates, they are art tragics, they are passionate. They are brave, they wear their hearts on their sleeves and they keep students at the centre.

Our theme in 2019, in line with the major summer exhibition Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate, is all about matters of the heart—inspiration, bravery, compassion and connection.

The conference program in 2019 will offer opportunities for teachers of all levels of schooling as well as artists and educators from the museum and gallery sector to explore a broad range of current issues in visual art education.

Looking for where to register? Registration information.

Looking for session times? Download the 2019 conference program (271kb pdf).

See previous NVAEC conferences:


Keynote Speakers

John ArmstrongThe School of Life’s global Philosopher-in-chief and co-author of Art as Therapy, will deliver a keynote presentation exploring the philosophy and purpose of art education.

Sandra Jackson-Dumont is responsible for the vision and management of education at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Jackson-Dumont is a champion for diversity and inclusion and is known for blurring the lines between academia, popular culture, and non-traditional art-going communities.

Dr Flossie Chua of Project Zero, Harvard University and Anne Smith of Independent Schools Victoria will discuss their research on how exploring contemporary artists’ patterns of thinking might shift our paradigms for teaching and learning.

Featured Artists

Ben Quilty is a renowned portrait artist and winner of the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 2009 and the Archibald Prize in 2011. The Australian War Memorial commissioned Quilty as an official war artist in Afghanistan and he has recently curated ‘Home: Drawings by Syrian Children’.

Sally Smart is a leading contemporary Australian artist recognised internationally for large-scale cut-out assemblage installations and increasingly, performance and video. Smart has designed the newest iteration of NGA Play, inspired by the NGA's collection of Ballet Russes costumes. Read more.

Lisa Reihana is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice examines the representation of history. Reihana represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale in 2017 with the large-scale video installation in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2015–17). Her filmed vignettes populate a neo-classical French wallpaper, Les Sauvages de la mer Pacifique, a work in the NGA collection.

The call for papers has now closed.

The following organisations assisted to provide conference bursaries:

Art Education Australia
Art Educators of the Northern Territory
Art Education Victoria
Visual Arts and Design Educators Association of NSW
Visual Arts Educators South Australia
Queensland Art Teachers Association
Tasmanian Art Teachers Association