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AIR breathes life into school artists

16 Mar 2012

Thirteen schools across Western Australia are about to take part in a program linking students with local artists to foster creativity across the education curriculum.

Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said the $1.12million pilot Artist-In-Residence (AIR) grants program, now in its fourth year, had resulted in thousands of students teaming up with some of the State’s most talented artists on ambitious and highly creative projects.

“The AIR program is a partnership between the State Department of Culture and the Arts and the Department of Education Western Australia, with funding from the Australia Council for the Arts,” Mr Day said.

Education Minister Liz Constable said that the schools involved in the program were reporting good results from their creative partnerships.

“Feedback from the schools is that the projects have brought significant and lasting benefits to school communities, students and teachers,” Dr Constable said.

Something in the AIR: Case Studies of Western Australia’s Artist-In-Residence Grants Program was also released today, providing detailed accounts of the program’s first year.

“Since its inception in 2009, more than 3,000 students have taken part in the program, and evaluations are currently being carried out on the outcomes of the creative partnerships undertaken during 2010-11,” Dr Constable said.

This year, seven creative partnerships valued at about $280,000 will begin in May, including:

  • Atwell College students creating 3D mixed-media books as a cross curriculum partnership working with artist Janis Nedela
  • Harmony Primary School, also in Atwell, will work with Paula Hart to create 2D and 3D artworks to be used as a photomontage backdrop in the school’s undercover area
  • Churchlands Primary School students working with scriptwriter Monica Main and artists Paula Hart and Sohan Ariel Hayes to create a short movie to be screened on completion
  • Nedlands Primary School will work with artist Jahne Rees to design and build three major sculptural pieces for the school grounds representing the area’s culture, history and natural environment
  • Safety Bay Primary School students will work with author Katy Watson-Kell and local Noongar artists, including Trevor Walley and Arthur (Ashley) Collard bringing the area’s history to life through a combination of visual arts, music and drama and storytelling
  • Students at Tom Price Senior High School and associated primary schools will work on interactive installations, mosaics and puppetry performances inspired by the local indigenous culture
  • The major program for this year will involve Sydney-based organisation Musica Viva and specialist artists Mark Cain and Calvin Chee working with students from metropolitan schools Belmay Primary, South East Language Development Centre, Carson Street Independent Public School and Belmont City College to build a sound garden based at Belmay Primary.

Something in the AIR: Case Studies of Western Australia’s Artist-In-Residence Grants Program (pdf)