Art education funds for gallery

June 23, 2022 BY

Creative learners: St Thomas More Catholic Primary School’s Ethan and Zara experiment with colour and shape in a session led by a Gallery’s education officer. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

THE Art Gallery of Ballarat’s delivery of visual arts education programs for primary and secondary students have been boosted with State Government funding.

The institution has received $100,000 from the Victorian Government’s Strategic Partnerships Program which will support the Gallery to engage more regional students than the 10,000 they usually welcome every year.

Director Louise Tegart said the institution has a full-time education officer, and casual educators, who deliver learning programs for early learners to VCE students that range from practical workshops to sessions exploring Wadawurrung culture and creativity.

“We’re not just focused on visual arts, but cross over a wide range of curriculum areas including history, language, English, and mathematics, which aid creative and critical thinking, literacy, and creative writing,” she said.

“The future of work is for creative thinkers. Visits to the Gallery and the education programs we offer are essential in establishing those skills within young people, and we’re delighted we can bring more students through the Art Gallery of Ballarat.”

Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison said the Gallery is a “wonderful place of learning” for people of all ages, and its education programs are one of its many drawcards.

“We want to encourage more students and schools to come here to discover their talents, express their emotions, and develop ideas,” she said.

“We know when students embrace art, it’s good for their mental health, wellbeing, and broader learning.

“This important program is going to have such incredible benefits for students and children across Ballarat, as well as introducing them to the Gallery, so they come back here with their families and make the most of it.”

The City of Ballarat owns the Gallery and mayor Cr Daniel Moloney reflected on one of his first visits as a Forest Street Primary School pupil.

“All those years ago, I remember coming along to the Gallery, walking up the staircase, being wowed by the Eureka Flag, and then seeing wonderful paintings from artists… and it continues to inspire throughout the years,” he said.

“That’s something we want to see continued, and even if kids don’t go onto pursue a visual arts career, it does give them the exposure to a creative environment.

“They may go onto become an engineer, but they’ll still be inspired by art. It’s there to get you to think about the world differently, challenge your perceptions of the day-to-day, and to be more creative.”