Describe An Art Exhibition That You Visited - IELTS Cue Card Samples

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Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Feb 14, 2023 11:52 AM IST

The IELTS Speaking section is categorised into three parts. The first part covers self-introduction, the second is a long talk, and the third part is a two-way discussion. 

“Describe an Art Exhibition that you Visited” is one of the most popular questions asked for the second part of IELTS Speaking. It is one of the cue-card questions of the section. 

You will be expected to speak in length about your visit to an art exhibition for about three to four minutes, and eventually, discuss or debate it for four to five minutes with the examiner in the third part.

This part is specially designed to test your English language skills when faced with dynamic situations. The time constraints and surprise element of the topic are believed to truly reveal your English speaking skills.

How to Answer “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited”?

Given that all the questions in IELTS Speaking part two are designed to test your skills in the face of uncertainty, the examiner will hand you a task card (hence, the name IELTS Speaking cue card questions) which states the topic on which you have to speak for three to four minutes. Though you will get one minute to gather your thoughts and prepare yourself to speak, it is rather important that you work through the most basic requirements to properly answer the cue-card question.

If your IELTS cue card asks you to describe an art exhibition that you visited then you are expected to answer the same, even though you might have never made that trip in your lifetime. Clearly, the reality of the situation has little to do with your answer, however, even in the case of winging it, you need to practice caution. The reason is that you will have a one-on-one discussion about the same topic in the third part of the IELTS Speaking section.

Important Points to Consider

If you wish to ace your IELTS Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited question, you need to make the most of your preparation time. Though it admittedly is a very short duration, it is all that you will have to prepare. To make the most of it, you can use the following questions to summarise your at-length speech of three-four minutes:

  • What is an art exhibition?

  • When and how did you visit this exhibition?

  • What was exhibited?

  • What conclusion did you draw from this exhibition?

  • Are there any other details that highlight the exhibition's importance?

  • What is your conclusion?

Once you have gathered answers to these questions, you will have set an outline for your upcoming IELTS Speaking long-talk. However, this is not all about the topic.

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IELTS “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” Sample 1

You can answer your IELTS Speaking “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” question in this manner:

I really like art exhibitions, as I view them as a great way for artists of similar candour to exhibit their work collectively. One such art exhibition was held in Jaipur city which is in Rajasthan. The famed art centre of the city, Albert Museum conducted this exhibition in a designated area on its premises. The exhibition was curated jointly by the City Palace, on behalf of the Jaipur Royal Family, and the Albert Museum Committee, on behalf of the Rajasthan State government. 

The works of local artisans of Rajasthan were displayed, and the art forms in limelight were Batik Painting, Miniature Painting, and Glass Work. A designated labyrinth path was designed for the visitors, as many artworks were connected on a thematic and creator basis. All the pieces of the art collection were presented for sale, for which prices were divulged on demand.

I was especially enamoured by certain qualities of this exhibit, such as the on-demand price for local artisans’ works and the labyrinth path. Both these styles are not unpopular in art exhibitions, but they are seldom heard of in the case of local art and culture. They are popular income bringers to art galleries, and now local artisans could also benefit from them. 

I believe this was an important step in respecting and resurrection of indigenous arts.

IELTS “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” Sample 2

Alternatively, you can also answer your IELTS cue-card “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” question as follows:

Art exhibitions have always been an important part of my life right from childhood. My parents used to take me and my sister to visit some of the other art exhibitions every other weekend. As I always found these visits to be relaxing and yet a great brainstorming activity, I have carried the practice well into my adulthood.

Recently, I made a visit to this art exhibition of a renowned Indian sculptor Benji Banerjee. He had launched his new “As I Might Be” art collection, which was curated as an exhibition by Ms. Vriksha Wingett. The exhibition was held in Mangalore, Karnataka, for a fortnight, in one of Ms. Wingett’s penthouses. 

What absolutely captured my attention was the absence of entry fees despite the seemingly “unreachability” of the exhibition. In fact, every alternate day, students of different schools were invited to the exhibition for a tour, and though advertising scope is quite limited in art exhibition practices, college students were religiously targeted over the course of the exhibition.

Another fact that impressed me was that all visitors were given a form for anonymous reviews and criticisms, which they were to put in dropbox placed at the exit. 

The fusion of approachability and aesthetics of a private art exhibition is where I think the exhibition excelled.

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Vocabulary for “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited”

As previously mentioned, IELTS Speaking’s “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” question is a test of your English language proficiency rather than art knowledge. However, your vocabulary must be knowledgeable enough to suggest that you can tackle conversations of even unknown areas. This requires you to have a knowledge of certain special words, some of which are mentioned here:

  • Artist: A person who is the creator of the artwork presented in an art exhibition. It is inevitable that you use this word while answering IELTS “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” question.

    • Example: The exhibition was organised to exhibit the “My Last Autumn” series of painter Verrier Trough.

  • Exhibit: It means to present something or someone for public viewing and analysis. Though a better way to say “presentation”, it is again an inevitable term when talking about an art exhibition.

    • Example: The exhibit was focused on Surrealism and displayed artworks of multiple artists in the field.

  • Symbol: It means a mark or example of something. Since all artworks represent something, this word and its various forms need to be mentioned at least once during those three to four minutes. In fact, it is advised that you use this word while talking about your impression of the art exhibition.

    • Example: I believe that the exhibit symbolised the impact of seemingly fleeting moments in our lives.

  • Curator: The organiser of the art exhibition is again an important person to be mentioned since all art exhibitions are curated by some person. 

    • Example: The exhibition was curated by Mrs. Devi Bishnoi, a leading name among the art galleries of India.

Note: The vocabulary is not limited to the above words, however, their usage is unavoidable. Apart from the above-mentioned, you can add your own knowledge of words as well, as long as they do not disrupt your IELTS Speaking long-talk flow.

“Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” Follow-Up Questions

The follow-up questions make up for the third part of the IELTS Speaking section. They are designed as a one-on-one conversation between you and the examiner and are based on your answer to the second part. Hence, all the things you have said or implied in your long talk affect this part. 

Some of the common follow-up questions you can expect after IELTS “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” are given below.

Are art exhibitions popular in your country?

Yes, art exhibitions are extremely popular in India. India, being a land of diversity, has many local art cultures and practices, which have gained more exposure with globalisation. This collaboration is supported by art curators and the government as well. You can rest assured to find at least one art exhibition being held in every city with an urban lifestyle. In fact, there are many annual art festivals conducted, which are visited by artists and interested people from all over the world.

Do you think entry fees for art exhibitions are justified?

The presence of entry fees is directly linked to the purpose of the art exhibition. I wholly support the present system of art curation in India. The exhibits curated by the government are free, as they are focused on talent recognition and art culture propagation. On the other hand, exhibits conducted for profit, charity work, auctions, sponsorships, new launches, etc., have an entry fee. They are hence visited by interested parties and ensure that the artist and curator can earn on their investments.

How can art exhibitions attract more visitors?

I believe that the marketing of art exhibitions needs to become more forefronted. Currently, art curators reserve themselves to keep their marketing and advertising activities in a “sophisticated” and “minimalist” bracket. However, these fields have changed for the better for every other sector. Moreover, they are proven to increase the reach of the product and as well as its success. I strongly believe that art exhibitions can attract more visitors with stronger marketing strategies.

What is the future of art exhibitions according to you?

The fusion of art with other sciences and fields is the future of art exhibitions. As many artists are using knowledge and principles of other disciplines, such as physics, biology, sustainability, etc., to make their artworks more creative and impactful, it makes up a good foundation for future exhibitions. Additionally, the medium of art exhibitions is also evolving into digital as well as more permanent spaces.

Precautions to Take While Answering “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited”

There are many types of topics possible for the IELTS Speaking section, however, “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” and other topics which do not consider the fact that not every test-taker can be an art-enthusiast can be a bit tricky. Though the speech may go smoothly, there are always follow-up questions. 

Hence, apart from the above questions, you also need to keep in mind the following precautions while answering the IELTS cue-card question “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited”:

  • If you do not know about any artists or artworks, you can mention the exhibition to be a display of anonymous artists.

  • If your known artist cannot be believed to be present, you can mention the exhibition to be conducted in their honour or memory, with the latter only when they are not living anymore.

  • If your known artwork is a classic, then the artist might not be living anymore. In this case, you can mention the exhibition to be an inspiration or theme based on artwork.

  • You can also mention your non-interest and instead talk about other aspects such as the art movements, colours, art type, etc., being your take from the exhibition.

  • Whatever situation you create, you must be able to answer the follow-up questions.

  • Your stance must be confident throughout the answering span.

  • The main focus is not your art knowledge, but how well you hold a conversation. Hence, your language skills need to be flawless rather than knowledge. This includes vocabulary, conversation flow, pronunciation, confidence while speaking English, etc.

Since the whole IELTS Speaking test is designed to assess your language skills, the examiner will make all possible efforts to surprise you. In addition, it is possible that one or two follow-up questions catch you off-guard. However, you will do well if you remember just one thing — this section is designed to test your English proficiency and not art knowledge. 

Hence, you must always be able to answer your questions and maintain a conversation flow. For instance, if you do not know the answer to a question you can always say that you have minimal interest in the art field, and it bugs you that it is not as direct as mathematics. However, ensure not to create another pothole of non-interest.

Explore the various cue-card questions and other long-talk or long-write questions asked in the IELTS exam!

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FAQs on IELTS Describe An Art Exhibition That You Visited

Is it compulsory to start IELTS “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” answer with an introduction about “art exhibitions”?

No, it is not compulsory to start IELTS “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” answer with an introduction about art exhibitions. You can directly start by mentioning the details of your experience. However, explaining art exhibition and their value in your life help in setting a good foundation for your further answer. Moreover, it helps in adding a personal touch to the answer, highlighting your conversational skills.

How can I prepare for the IELTS Speaking “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” question?

You can prepare for the IELTS Speaking “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” question by referring to the pointers above. Additionally, we have a long list of books and other study materials as recommendations for IELTS Speaking preparation. You can also subscribe to our test prep services to get one-on-one guidance from study abroad exam experts.

Do I need to refer to art journals to answer IELTS cue-card “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited”?

You may refer to art journals or other relevant stuff to answer the IELTS cue-card “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” question. However, these references are not available during the IELTS Speaking exam, and the topic is also not confirmed. If you assume that you can retain certain important information from these journals, and your preparation schedule allows you time, you can refer to them.

Should I visit an art exhibition to prepare for IELTS Speaking “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” question?

There is no compulsion to visit an art exhibition to prepare for IELTS Speaking “Describe an Art Exhibition That You Visited” question. You can though visit an art exhibition as it will surely be of huge help if this topic is on your IELTS Speaking task card. Here, tt is noteworthy that there are various topics that can be asked in your task card.

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