Monday, October 30, 2006

Our new exhibitions are open. The 2nd year Diploma Students open this week with our photography and printmaking electives showing their work. Last exhibition featured our painters and sculptures. All the work is hung throughout our Hunter St campus and fills the place with all the students' musings. There are works that are soulful and almost shrouded, others that are soaring and playful. Upstairs you can see a series of photos that are shot in the toilets. The photographers are dominating that space. Downstairs the printmakers fill most of the ground floor. It is particularly interesting to see the work of those painters who also make prints, how a pop sensibility grows in both mediums. It will also be interesting to see who develops into what in the Advanced Diploma next year. This exhibition opens on Wednesday night, 1st November. The Advanced Diploma show opens at the end of the month. I have already had people off the street asking about sales. They know it is good work.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The photography students focussed their attentions on Kooragang or Ash Island and collected a range of natural specimens, images and other objects that they processed in the photo studio. Some processes were as simple as scanning objects or creating photograms from the specimens that then became negatives for further processing. They even took on the whole historical connection to natural history and the archeological remains on the island. Acted it out even.

Raft of the Medusa Sails Again.

Mandy Davies' workshop had students reconstructing the composition of Gericault's Raft of the Medusa using two models to adapt the poses in the original. This was a great opportunity for students with a figurative bent to work intensively on a composition of some complexity. But the whole thing went deeper than that. For instance it meant that students have to think through the process that goes into a complex figurative image using only two models.

The show of works in the lower gallery is interesting because you can see the effect of each student drawing the models from different parts of the room, so the final poses and composition is slightly different from one work to the other. It is almost a kind reworking in 3D. A very interesting project and one we hope to repeat, perhaps for a summer workshop.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Guest Speakers at Workshop Week included Janet Laurence, an artist of some range who has a significant profile internationally and whose work engages with enrivonmental, natural and cultural issues. Her installations often involve complex layers of images, transparency, glass timber and other materials and engage and interact with architectural structures. She presented a fascinating commentary on her work and how she investigates the relationship between cultural constructs and the natural world. Janet is pictured here with Maizie Turner who magically also appears in our next photo of
Phil Quirk. Phil is a photographer who presented his extraordinary photographs of the landscape. The works are quite formal and extremely beautiful and he gave us quite an insight into his thinking and his processes.

Workshop Week

Workshop week is exactly what it sounds like, an annual event at the Newcastle Art School, where normal classes are suspended and we get into a range of intensive and extensive specialist workshops. We mix students from various levels and disciplines and include other special activities. This year we have had an underlying theme of the Green Corridor, prompted by a grant to explore this theme in our workshop week and to set up an exhibition in 2007 ( more on this later or in another Blog). Monday had us at the Dickson Park Surf Club for a range of guest speakers who spoke on their art practices or on environmental issues. Tuesday and Wednesday saw us going out on buses to visit various sites in the green corridor around Newcastle, some intrepid types even camped overnight at Mnt Vincent. And over Wednesday, Thurdsay and Friday various workshops have been happening at our Hunter Campus and generally around the place. We have a heap of photos from these workshops and will they will form art of entries right here. Picuted here is Michael Bell at the Newcastle Region Art Gallery where his group played with large scale drawings under the theme "Life+Sex+death". The drawings are now in our upper gallery space at the Art School.

Frankly workshop week can be hard to organise and require a lot of energy and flexibility from our staff. However I feel the effort is worth it, there is some great work produced and hopefully a few more creative seeds planted that will grow and bear fruit down the track.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Newcastle Art School facilties are equipped with the latest technology as well as the traditional tools and equipment of the artist.
  • Three Drawing studios each of which can support over 15 students for research, experimental drawing and life drawing. The studios are backed by an extensive store of indiosyncratic objects, plaster casts and zoological specimens.
  • Two Painting studios with full ventilation and painting racks.
  • Printmaking facilities for screen printing, etching, relief printing, lithography. Our printmaking area includes full extraction and dedicated rooms for acids, screen cleaning, screen exposure, graining and other facilities alongside the studios.
  • Design room.
  • Photography Lab including Analogue (wet) darkroom, alternative process areas and Digital Photography lab equipped with G5 Macs and large format printer and scanner.
  • Sculpture facility includes general purpose space, metal fabrication area for welding and casting, woodworking space and external area.
  • Dedicated Arts Library.
  • As of second semester 2006 we will also have an art gallery which will not only showcase the work of our students but involve them in the presentation and running of a professional art gallery.

Newcastle Art School

Welcome to the Newcastle Art School, Hunter St TAFE, BLOG.

This has been created by Matthew Tome, Head Teacher Fine Arts to showcase our courses, exhibitions, facilities, staff and events.

We have been an art school on this site, Hunter St Newcastle NSW, Australia for over 100 years.

The Newcastle Art School specialises in studio based fine arts training for professional artists. It is school of TAFE NSW, Hunter Institute on the Hunter St Campus with fully accredited courses, facilities and staff.

The Newcastle Art School is located in a series of historically significant buildings on Hunter St, Newcastle West, and has been Newcastle’s central art school since the late 19th century. The facilities occupy a significant city site and the architecture is a marriage of 19th century eclecticism and modern functionalism reconstructed after the earthquake in 1988.

Our courses are studio focused and involve significant face-to-face teaching with student teacher ratios of around 15-1. All courses are TAFE curriculum accredited nationally. The facilities are well equipped with the latest technology as well as the traditional tools and equipment of the artist.

Students are offered a range of studio electives including Painting, Sculpture, Photography and Printmaking alongside core studies in Drawing, Art History and Theory, Professional Practice and Digital Imaging. Staff of the Newcastle Art School are highly qualified and professionally recognised artists with strong reputations as artists and teachers.