Saturday, December 10, 2011

Artist in Residence program

For the last few months I have been hanging out with a bunch of really talented 14 & 15 year old artists. It's been a blast.

Every Friday morning I've been up bright and early (maybe less of the bright and more of the early...) to head off to Strathmore Secondary College in Melbourne's northern suburbs to join the class of 24 for their Artist in Residence program.

The program involved, in a nutshell, me talking about my art practice and then showing the students how to do what I do. Not that these guys needed too many tips in the drawing department, I was not making work any where near as good as most of them when I was their age!

My time there evolved into one big paste-ups workshop, which I have to say was pretty cool. Our first exercise was pasting up small artwork around the school - which was received with excitement and enthusiasm by teachers and students alike.

As we planned our next project and started working on new designs we took a short trip into the city to see what other artists had been doing on the streets as well as checking out the Space Invaders exhibition at RMIT Gallery.

 Checking out a Drab paste up off Drewery Place 

Union Lane

Sniders Lane

Feeling very inspired, the students spent the next couple of weeks working really hard (lunchtimes and afterschool!) to finish their paste ups for the wall they were to collaborate on. We did a paste-up collage on the fence at the Corner Café on Woodland St in Strathmore. Some students worked in small groups of two or three, others flew solo, but the wall as whole looked pretty amazing after the first week of pasting!

Most of the larger paste ups went up on this first week of pasting, and some more were added last Friday. I will snap some shots of the updated artwork next time I am up that way. The locals are loving it and the beauty is that it will continue to evolve.

Sadly though, Friday was my last day. I was spoiled by the class who bought me a really big bunch of flowers and made me one of the best cards I've ever received - 4 pages of really lovely messages from each of them as well as some photos of their paste ups.

A big huge thanks to Lauren, the co-ordinator of the Artist In Residence program for inviting me to be the artist for the last semester. I had a great time and I felt pretty lucky to be surrounded by such a great group of young artists, who I'm sure we will see around in the not too distant future.

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