It is fortunate that we have had annual Ikebana exhibitions the last seven years. But there are so few Ikebana exhibitions, despite the fact that there are so many Ikebana teachers in Australia.
Although some Ikebana schools make it compulsory for each branch to have annual Ikebana exhibition, some branches have ignored such requests. That is understandable considering there are so many difficulties in having an exhibition. Actually there are too many reasons or excuses for not having exhibitions. However, we believe that there are great benefits in having exhibitions.
a. Positive effects for students' learning: Students tend to achieve their personal best at an exhibition. Showing their works to public gives them confidence and motivation to learn more.
b. Professionalism: Exhibiting works is a challenging and demanding process from preparation to deinstallation. Experiencing that would better prepare students for future opportunities for professional works that include teaching, displays and competitions.
c. Career: One of my advanced students was preparing an application for a floral competition some time ago and told me that she had nothing to write about her artist career apart from her qualification as an Ikebana teacher. Although she had excellent academic and professional career in other fields, what matters for artists are exhibition history and awards.
Unfortunately, there are very few opportunities for Ikebana students in Australia to gain these. That's why we have tried to have annual exhibitions that all of our students including beginners can participate. We are aiming to have an exhibition in a prestigious gallery in the near future.
Also for the same reason, we have set up Ikebana Gallery Australia Award. We believe this will contribute lots for the future of Ikebana in Australia. http://ikebanaaustralia.blogspot.com/
d. Promoting Ikebana. There are almost always some people who join the class after seeing our exhibition.
From Ikebana Newsletter Melbourne, December 2011.To subscribe our free newsletter, go to the News page in the following website.