This year's Catholic Education Week (15-21 March) is taking on a new format, with events and activities reimagined into a digital resource for schools to use locally.

One of the most anticipated elements of Catholic Education Week is the annual Creative Arts Exhibition which provides an opportunity for students from across the Archdiocese of Melbourne to express themselves and their identity in unique and creative ways.

Jim Miles, Executive Director of Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS), said this year's entries are a powerful reminder of the vibrancy of Catholic learning communities that nourish student creativity and individual stories 'enlightened by faith, animated by love and leading to hope.'

'The wide variety of artistic categories, which include social justice, religious art, landscape, sculpture and textiles, demonstrates how that creativity and those stories promote the full flourishing of every student across multiple domains of learning,' said Jim.

Creative Arts Exhibition Digital Gallery

The artworks are available to view at the 2021 Creative Arts Exhibition Digital Gallery and a selection of works will be on display at the Catholic Leadership Centre from 15-19 March.

The Digital Gallery enables visitors to view the artworks from each school and showcases works in various categories including Australian inspired, abstract, digital art and photography, landscape, monochrome/dystopian, nature, portraiture, religious art, sculpture and textiles, social justice and still life.

'Our students’ artistic strengths are nurtured by the outstanding teachers in our schools,' Jim said. 'We thank them for their continuing work in making creativity come alive for their students in this essential curriculum area.'

A variety of live action and animated films are also available as well as a full list of the 2021 award winners. Artists who won awards were invited to provide video interviews where they discuss their artworks and the processes involved in creating them. Visitors to the gallery are invited to vote on the People's Choice Award (Primary and Secondary categories). Voting closes on Saturday 20 March with winners to be announced on Wednesday 24 March.

"Turn Towards Faith" by Alexandra (Year 10), Mater Christi College Belgrave

'This artwork has been created in watercolour and paper craft. I have used the 12th station of the Cross ‘Jesus meets his mother’ as inspiration. Mary is represented by a nurse and she offers strength, help and comfort to Jesus in need. Jesus represents people struggling with life during the COVID-19 pandemic. The cross is covered in words about the crisis and is symbolic of a heavy burden for mankind.'

"Turn Towards Faith" by Alexandra (Year 10)

"Nonna's Story" by Ginevra (Year 2), St Martin de Porres School Avondale Heights

'This is the story of Nonna Clara as told by her granddaughter, Ginevra.'

"Nonna's Story" live action film by Ginevra (Year 2)

"Heavenly Mother" by Megan (Year 10) Mater Christi College Belgrave

'This artwork celebrates Christianity and explores the traditional styles and beliefs of religious art in a modern context. It explores the use of religious colours, such as gold and shades of blue, to create a heavenly theme and represent the styles of the Roman Catholic aesthetic. This portrait of a young girl represents traditional portraits of Mary, in a creative and unique way young adults can appreciate.'

"Heavenly Mother" by Megan (Year 10)

"Sunburnt Country: after Pro Hart" by Stephanie (Year 5), St Cecilia's School Glen Iris

'The students studied the landscape paintings of Pro Hart. They looked towards the Australian bush for inspiration, investigating the unique colours and textures of the outback. This painting is acrylic paint on paper, with a combination of brush, stick and sponge.'

"Sunburnt Country: after Pro Hart" by Stephanie (Year 5)

"Hand of Fate" by Noah (Year 11), Parade College Bundoora

'Using Asian mythology and stories as inspiration, Noah produced an image of the hand of God deciding the fate of the universe. This is represented by the red string around the fingers.'

"Hand of Fate" by Noah (Year 11), Parade College, Bundoora

Resources have been specially designed for schools to use in the classroom and as extra-curricular activities during and beyond Catholic Education Week. Visit the Catholic Education Week 2021 website for more information.