from left Rachel Dick (4), Banjo Keane (2) Jackie Babbage (pre-school teacher) and Bundjalung artist Albert ‘Digby’ Moran.
from left Rachel Dick (4), Banjo Keane (2) Jackie Babbage (pre-school teacher) and Bundjalung artist Albert ‘Digby’ Moran. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Artist shares his secrets

ART lessons can sometimes be a bit dull, but not when you have an inspirational art teacher like Albert "Digby" Moran.

The Bundjalung artist has this month been busy sharing his painting secrets with local school students and giving guided tours of his solo exhibition Bundjalung Dreaming at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina.

Mr Moran said the workshops had so far been a lot of fun and seeing the smiling children's faces made the classes especially worthwhile.

"I just love working with kids and giving back to the community," Mr Moran said. "Kids are the future."

As part of the workshop, students have the opportun- ity to make their own piece of art using the techniques learnt throughout the day.

Mr Moran said art was an important lesson for kids because it had the potential to change their lives.

"Twenty-five years ago I used to drink a bit," Mr Moran said. "I chucked that away and took up painting, now I've been all over the world."

Mr Moran said he wanted to pass his arts experience onto the kids and give them an appreciation of the work he loved.

Gallery co-ordinator Ingrid Hedgcock said the opportunity for students to meet Mr Moran, see his exhibition first-hand and get a demonstration of the skills and techniques he used was a rich and valuable learning experience.

"My own art experiences at school involved looking at reproductions of artworks in textbooks," Ms Hedgcock said. "We didn't study contemporary artists, let alone meet any."

She said programs like this enlivened the gallery and made memories for students for years to come.

The workshops were made possible by a grant received through the Country Art Support Program (CASP) of Regional Arts NSW, which provides small grants for short-term, locally initiated projects.



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