Contemporary Visual Arts Education, the Moral Minority and Freedom of Expression

2005 Conference

Sydney College of the Arts educates students to become contemporary artists. In 2004, during a unit of study evaluation by eighty Foundation students, two admitted to feeling shocked by the content of images shown in lectures, thereby bringing the conservative community view on contemporary art into the tertiary education environment. This paper discusses the moral issues surrounding the case-study. It acknowledges the relativity of moral positions, but agrees with the long-standing ethical position within the discipline on freedom of expression, and argues that art’s role, and the educator’s role, must be imbricated to maintain the ethical rights of artists.