Olympics of the Visual Arts

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Every spring, Brown School participates in the Olympics of the Visual Arts (OVA), a day-long competition sponsored by the New York State Art Teachers Association.

A lot of preparation goes into this day. Students can work individually or in a team, and they begin months before by selecting a category for the long-term problem on which they would like to work. Categories include architecture, photography, fashion design, sculpture, painting, drawing, illustration, or graphic design. Each category offered has a different prompt that students must follow to solve the long-term problem. Students “solve” the long-term problem using historical references, brainstorming, problem-solving, and creative solutions, documenting their progress and building a creative piece along the way.

On the day of the event, students display their piece and their documentation at the Saratoga Springs City Center. Then, they are given a short-term problem called the spontaneous problem, which is solved on-site during the competition with a limited number of supplies.

The solutions to the short and long term problems are judged, and the day concludes by awarding the top three winners at each grade level in each category. A special award is given to the most creative solution for each problem category.