New exhibition explores the imaginary worlds of primary school artists


Image: QVMAG Education Officer George, ArtStart exhibition student curators and mentors, and City of Launceston Mayor Matthew Garwood. 

The beloved, annual primary school art exhibition ArtStart has opened its doors at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery at Royal Park for another big year.  

Featuring works by primary school artists from across northern Tasmania, ArtStart 2023 explores the theme My Imaginary World. 

Each year a selection of student curators are chosen to assist in the development of ArtStart, with the ArtStart: My Imaginary World curators including students Mila Pihan, Mila Humphrey and Seth Humphrey. 

Mila, Seth and Mila were joined by their classmates Hamish Walker-Adams, Bellatrix Harper and Trai Thompson who were previous Student Curators for ArtStart: For Our Elders, and the programs student mentors for 2023.  

As part of the ArtStart process, students met with QVMAG Curators to learn about the curatorial process for an art show, what colours and themes go best together, and what goes on behind-the-scenes to open an exhibition.  

Choosing a total of 40 works for display from over 80 student submissions, student curator and mentor Trai Thompson said it was a difficult process to choose what would be a final work within the show.  

“It’s hard to choose from everything. The first round of selections were easy, but once we got to narrowing down the art it was a lot harder. The more works there are, the harder it is,” Trai said.  

“It was also a lot harder to choose--or not choose--the works when we knew it was one of our classmate's art works. It’s a lot harder to say no.” 

Taking inspiration from exhibitions currently on display at the Art Gallery, student curator and mentor Hamish Walker-Adams said taking a look at the QVMAG art storage rooms was a highlight of the process, noting “It was so cool to see the storage rooms with all the art that could go in exhibitions.” 

Creative Arts and Cultural Services General Manager Shane Fitzgerald said ArtStart was a fantastic exhibition to showcase the creativity of primary school students across northern Tasmania.  

ArtStart is an invaluable experience for so many students within our community to showcase their emerging talent and creativity,” Fitzgerald said.  

“Each year our visitors love to explore the works on display in this exhibition, and I’d encourage everyone to make the most of this exhibition while on display at the Art Gallery until early March 2024.” 

ArtStart is on display at the until 3 March 2024 at the Art Gallery at Royal Park with free entry. To see what’s on for families over the holiday season at QVMAG, visit 

Issued 14 December 2023.