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Environmental Art Showcase

Art sessions provided additional resources for North Queensland students and educators, enriching their experiences with artistic creativity and the natural environment.

What

Paluma Environmental Education Centre (EEC) received support through the Artist in Residence (AIR) program for the Environmental Art Roadshow project. AIR provides arts and education funding to eligible kindergartens and schools seeking to increase their engagement with arts and culture. 

The EEC offers programs and learning experiences in core subject areas of science, history and geography and is situated among the tropical rainforests of the Paluma Range National Park, North Queensland. 

Funding was provided to support an artist and teacher travelling to 22 small, rural schools in North Queensland to deliver visual arts lessons to students from Prep to Year 6.  

Staff from the EEC worked with local artist Ms Dyasley Tuck to deliver art classes that encouraged students to think about and engage with their natural environment differently. Students explored their school environment, studying colours in the local landscape and collecting fallen leaves from local trees. Using ‘fresh eyes’ students used these natural materials as inspiration to create a background for their artwork using watercolour techniques, such as colour washes, masking and salt dusting. 

When

February to March 2017

Where

North Queensland – including Townsville and surrounds, north to the Ingham district, west to Prairie and South to the Burdekin and Bowen areas.

Schools Touring: Abergowrie, Airville, Brandon, Forrest Beach, Greenvale, Gumlu, Halifax, Homestead, Jarvisfield, Kalamia, Macknade, Merinda, Mt Fox, Mutarnee, Osborne, Pentland, Prairie, Rollingstone, Scottville, Toobanna, Trebonne and Woodstock.  

Image of student's work

Key stats

  • 1 artist
  • 548 students in 22 schools
  • 76 educators 

Arts Queensland contribution

$16,850 – Artists in Residence Program 

Outcomes

  • Students who took part in the project normally have limited opportunities to connect with other schools. In many cases, students were able to visit other schools and communities for the art session. 
  • Schools and students had access to resources they otherwise would not have had available to them including quality art materials and specialist teaching. Several schools are discussing engaging the artist in future projects. 
  • Educators were able to develop new skills and knowledge in visual arts through their participation in the lessons presented by the visiting art teacher.  
  • Staff from the EEC have developed skills in teaching visual arts and will be able to provide similar lessons as part of future programs. 

Learnings

Paluma EEC Principal, Ashley McLachlan identified the successful aspects of the program and also those things he’d change next time: 

A 'hub' model approach for the delivery of services such as this allowed for a single point of coordination and resourcing. This allowed a broad reach across a large number of smaller sites that might not otherwise have engaged with these activities. 

The timeframe we allocated for delivery of these services was very tight and designed to fit in with other scheduling at our Centre. Unfortunately this was made more difficult by a tropical cyclone and school closures in the final week of planned delivery. In hindsight, it may have been more effective to allocate a longer time period. 

This was a fantastic way to improve our own teachers' knowledge and skills in teaching visual arts, and will lead to us being able to provide a similar lesson as part of our regular programs.

What next?

A number of the schools from the program have indicated they will make a booking for a residential excursion with Paluma EEC as a result of the lessons to continue the students' learning in visual arts and environmental education. 

Find out more

Email: principal@palumaeec.eq.edu.au

Website: www.palumaeec.eq.edu.au/

Dyasley Tuck’s website

A pdf version (PDF) (344.28 KB) of the case study is available.

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