Authentic artist connections for Coomera Anglican College Students

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Coomera Anglican College has innovated the way Art students connect with professional artists through interactive studio chats conducted via video call, expanding its long-standing ‘Artist in Residence’ programme which allows students to work with professional artists

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Head of Art at Coomera Anglican College Liz Hampson has innovated the way Art students connect with professional artists through interactive studio chats conducted via video call, expanding its long-standing ‘Artist in Residence’ programme, which allows students to work with professional artists to gain authentic experience in the arts.

Tamara Armstrong, award-winning professional artist chats to Liz Hampson, Head of Art at Coomera Anglican College

This approach was developed in response to Learning from Home but has been so successful it will continue when school life returns to normal. Through this, Coomera Anglican College Art students have been able to personally engage in Studio Chats with their favourite local artists, which has strengthened understanding of a variety of art practices. These opportunities have excited the imaginations of the Art students, helping them to engage, connect, and view professional art-making. Whether at home or in the classroom, Junior and Secondary Art students are able to connect with these artists and feel as if they are in their studios.

Year 12 students enjoying a studio chat with Kellie North, award-winning photographer and visual artist

Three artists have been featured in the Studio Chats so far. During these 50-90 minute sessions, classes were extremely engaged with learning about the unique art processes and practices that each artist is currently involved in, as well as virtual personal tours inside studios. Students were able to see the environment in which artists work, and given the opportunity to ask questions, which were thoughtfully answered.

Larissa Warren, an internationally-acclaimed ceramicist invited students virtually into Ratbag Studio, her beautiful, quirky home studio on Tamborine Mountain. Warren, who has her own unique approach to clay, explained her approach and process for creating her delicate and intricate ceramics. Year 12 student Mikayla Melhem commented on this unique opportunity, “It was extremely interesting seeing the artists in their own space, I’ve learned so much by this virtual reality tour!”

Kellie North is an award-winning photographer and visual artist, whose work features in Channel Nine’s, The Block series. Students learned how she plays with texture, light, movement and nature to create evocative figurative images. Through these online meetings, the pupils were able to ask Kellie about her alternative approach to photography. Year 12 student Lucy Suhr enjoyed the one on one connection, “I was able to get to know the artists more personally and made sure to ask them as many questions as possible.”

Tamara Armstrong, another award-winning professional artist, is known for her striking, linear paintings. The Year 9 Art students were able to see how she created her work in her studio, an experience that was not possible before online teaching.

During the transition back to on-campus learning, Coomera Anglican College has continued to give students the best education possible with this new and innovative approach to online learning.

Tamara Armstrong shows Year Nine art students how she creates her work in her studio, an experience that was not possible before online teaching

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