DRAW19, Year 9 winner, Carly Schwenn, A dramatic point, 2019, graphite, 15.5 x 13.5cm.
DRAW19, Year 9 winner, Carly Schwenn, A dramatic point, 2019, graphite, 15.5 x 13.5cm.

Arty escape from the coronavirus shackles

AN ARTISTIC escape from the mental grip of COVID-19 may be one of the major benefits of young minds troubled by months of locked down uncertainty.

“We’ve seen first-hand during recent months how crucial the arts are in connecting and engaging communities,” Noosa Regional Gallery Gallery director Michael Brennan said.

“ It’s been long understood that creative activities play an essential role in promoting positive mental health – both in times of crisis like this, but also as an activity during our everyday lives.”

The gallery has launched art class series for school students aged seven to 17 online.

Its Art At Home program gives students the opportunity to learn a range of art techniques via easy-to-understand instructional videos, and using readily accessible materials.

The gallery’s popular After School Art Class program is on hold this term due to COVID-19 restrictions, so the Art at Home video series will help to fill the void.

“Our After School Art Classes typically have waiting lists – they’re in such high demand. Given the restrictions imposed on us all by COVID-19, we’ve attempted to replicate the success of the program to make it accessible to everyone online,” he said.

“Unlike previous iterations of the program, however, taking it online means we won’t have to restrict class numbers. It will now be available for all.”

Art At Home promotes creative learning, engaging students with multiple art styles and support to develop their independent artistic skills.

“For this reason, we really want to ensure that kids in our community are encouraged to express their own experiences of what’s happening in their world.”

To make the program accessible to all, it’s free to take part.

Art At Home sees the return of popular Gallery Educator Lyndon Hallows who has taught the original After School Art program at the Gallery for the past two years.

This term, Art At Home will focus on drawing, to align with the call for entries for the Gallery’s annual student art prize, DRAW 2020.

Mr Brennan said this would help more students feel empowered to enter DRAW 2020.

Promoting drawing as a fundamental step in arts practice, Draw 2020 is a contemporary drawing award open to all Year 9 to 12 students living in Noosa, the wider Sunshine Coast and Gympie areas.

DRAW 2020 provides an opportunity for four individual winners across four competition categories, as well as a People’s Choice Award. More than $2000 in prizes will be up for grabs.

Interested students can enter the prize free of charge via the Gallery website, as of now. The Art at Home video series can also be accessed via the Gallery website, with new episodes released progressively throughout the term. Visit: www.noosaregionalgallery.com.au