A partnership between Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and local primary schools has provided students the opportunity to work with a local artist and have their works exhibited.
The Art in Schools program is an initiative of DRC’s SPARC Cultural Plan, which seeks to provide students who may not have access to arts education, the chance to learn from creative professionals and become inspired to embrace creativity and art making as part of their overall education.
“This year is the first year we have run the program with students from Buninyong Public School and West Dubbo Public School involved,” DRC Regional Experiences Education Officer Rebecca Walker said.
As part of the program local artist Jack Randall has taken his artistic knowledge and expertise into the school environment and delivered art lessons to a select group of students from each school.
“Having an artist as a teacher is a special opportunity for the students and as this is the first time the program has been run both teachers and students have responded with great enthusiasm and engagement,” Ms Walker said.
The feedback received by the students who took part in the program in 2023 was positive, with students saying if they had the chance they would participate again.
Students from Buninyong Public School’s High Potential and Gifted Education (HPGE) program took part in the first landscape painting workshop series, with the school hosting Mr Randall for a five-week artist in residency.
“Not only was the experience invaluable but the finished student’s artworks were exceptional and something they are all very proud of,” Buninyong Public Assistant Principal Stage Three Erin Faulds said.
“The students benefited from working alongside a seasoned industry professional like Jack.”
The second workshop for 2023 was undertaken at Dubbo West Public School where students and teachers also had the opportunity to learn from Mr Randall before their work was placed on exhibition at the school.
“Having a professional piece of art up for display and working with a canvas is something these students haven’t done very often so that has been a highlight,” Ms Starr said.
“The program has provided the students with professional artistic techniques as well and that has been of benefit to the teachers watching so we have been able to upskill teachers as well.”
The collaboration between DRC, local schools and artists was funded by Council as part of the SPARC plan as a way to invest in ongoing cultural education and development of local art and culture.
DRC’s SPARC Cultural Plan highlights how Council will commit to policy-making based on foundation and development of programs and services in response to community needs.
The plan champions the role that culture plays in region-building, activating, celebrating and promoting the uniqueness of our community.
Image: Artist Jack Randall with West Dubbo Public School art students