Arts Fellows

Arts Fellows offer a range of classes for Year 11–13 students formulated with the assistance of leading University of Auckland academics.

Our senior Arts students will come out to your school to deliver classes aligned with the school curriculum. Our Arts Fellows are also happy to provide insights about studying these subjects within the Faculty of Arts. 

If you would like one of the Arts Fellows classes to be delivered in one of your classes, please contact Arts Fellows coordinator, Monique Warder on Please indicate which class you would like delivered, as well as dates and times that fit within your teaching schedule.

Does abstract art have a gender?

This lesson is designed to get students to think about where meaning is located in art works and how art writing can influence and direct our responses. Together, we will explore this through the question “Does abstract art have a gender?” The primary focus of the lesson will be on Abstract Expressionist artists including Jackson Pollock and Helen Frankenthaler, but will also touch on a New Zealand context with Gretchen Albrecht. The works of these artists are commonly understood through a gendered lens, identified as either masculine or feminine by art critics. Engaging in activities and discussions relating to painting and art writing, students will consider and evaluate various arguments and approaches to determine whether they think abstract art has been framed within a gendered lens. In doing so, they will explore ideas about what gives art meaning, as well as to think critically about gender in relation to art.

Affiliated subject: Art History

The personal, the global and the poet

By the end of this workshop students can expect to have the skeleton of an epistle that they can further develop into a personal piece of writing. As a poetic form, the epistle has resurrected particular social and popular interest as spoken word poets have re-purposed this poetry to address the global through the personal. That is to say, universal concerns that people and societies experience are expressed through the epistle. Therefore this workshop will provide students a taste of creative writing and applying their lived experience to a broader social context.

Affiliated subject: English

Between the lines: Creative nonfiction

This workshop will engage students in aspects of nonfiction and poetry. First, students will write responding to prompts about a beach, or a river, or a lake they know well. These prompts will help students traverse old and new memories, associations and journeys. Students will then be asked to order their fragments to create a story. The aim is to address the importance of setting, and all that it offers, as well as the possibilities of the narrative arc. This is an exercise that demonstrates the freedom and language play inherent to poetry, and it shows students that the materials for poems are all around us. Together, these tasks will demystify the writing process and teach them about responsiveness, flexibility, the importance of curiosity and experimentation.

Affiliated subject: English

Representations of social divisions in black and white horror films

This lesson will introduce the process of identifying symbolic representations of social/racial divisions in film and establish how film aesthetics such as lighting and colour can construct and emphasise these divisions. The focus will be on three black and white horror films: King Kong (1933), Cat People (1942) and Night Of The Living Dead (1968) as these films not only use monsters to symbolize social others and marginalized groups, but are especially efficient in using the contrast between black and white and the connotations of these two colours to highlight the social division between 'us' and 'them'. The aim is to engage students with film analysis by observing the symbolic role of techniques such as lighting and colour, prompting students to think about how the 'look' of a film contributes to the representation of social 'others', while introducing specific films that are often examined in Media, Film and Television courses.

Affiliated subject: Media, Film and Television