Behind5Doors: Gallery & Art Tours

Term: 3 Year: 2019

Behind5Doors gallery and studio art tours provide an insight into artistic practices, giving participants a rare glimpse into the art world. The group facilitates opportunities to engage with working artists, view artworks, discuss and share ideas, and understand artistic processes.

Behind5Doors empowers teachers and students to informally share thoughts and opinions about the importance of the visual arts for the individual and the role of galleries. Discussion points include: methods and intentions of commercial and private galleries, artist run spaces and alternative art spaces; curatorial considerations, exhibition design and promotional methods involved in preparing and displaying artworks in exhibitions; conservation of artworks. The benefits of these discussions and learning are supported by worksheets linked to the Victorian Curriculum.
After completing a tour, Zart Educator Emma Hewett-Smiles asked Sandra Tobias, from Behind5Doors some questions:

What do you think are the expectations of teachers bringing students on the tour – are they hoping to ‘shoehorn’ the tour into their classroom learning?

Sandra: We’ve really focussed on the Arts Industry Context of the course, the study design and so part of that is where the students have to write about galleries that they’ve been to, alternative, commercial, public and so we’ve drafted templates of questions that are on the past exams; the roles of the curators, roles of the directors in alternative space, promotion, conservation, preservation – all of that… Primary school teachers because of the new Victorian curriculum it’s important that they have the scope and sequence…so looking at grade 6 folios for example and year 10 folios and making sure that the students are [asking] for example ‘what artists are you influenced by?’, and they’re starting to use that language a lot earlier so that it’s part of their vocab.

Is there a process of collective learning and sharing that occurs with Behind5Doors?

Sandra: When we engage the directors and the curators… or the assistants that are working for example [at] James Makin Gallery…or Neon Park [for] their breakdown and introduction to the exhibition – it engages students… [it is] much more of a personal collective sharing.

Behind5Doors is an outstanding resource for teachers wanting to get out into the community and gain real life, industry experience for students to feed back into classroom learning. It is also a great way to network with local artists, and the benefits to your own art practice are truly invigorating.

The school gallery tours are run in the following areas inner City Melbourne, Fitzroy or Brunswick.

Contact Behind5Doors on
Emma Hewett-Smiles (Zart Education)
in Conversation with Sandra Tobias (Behind5Doors)