FINE ARTISTS: Lismore Heights Public School students, from left, Reshawn Brown, 8, Dontay Brown, 12, Jakeem Brown, 12, Kyshyia Ruttley Roberts, 11, and learning support officer Ray Arnott in front of a painting they created that now hangs in the managers’ office at Lismore Shopping Square.
FINE ARTISTS: Lismore Heights Public School students, from left, Reshawn Brown, 8, Dontay Brown, 12, Jakeem Brown, 12, Kyshyia Ruttley Roberts, 11, and learning support officer Ray Arnott in front of a painting they created that now hangs in the managers’ office at Lismore Shopping Square. Cathy Adams

Artists in the classroom

LISMORE Heights Public School may have the next Picasso in their midst.

Earlier this month, 50 indigenous students from the primary school created artworks as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations.

From the 50 submissions, Widjabul students Kyshyia Ruttley Roberts, Jakeem Brown, Dontay Brown and Reshawn Brown were chosen to create three further works under the guidance of learning support officer Ray Arnott - who has received artistic training from indigenous elders.

The finished works were displayed in a small exhibition at Lismore Shopping Square.

The shopping centre's management was so impressed with the calibre of the works they have partnered with the school, providing them with $500 to further indigenous education projects.

Lismore Heights Public School will use the money to commission an indigenous artist to assist children from multiple schools around the Northern Rivers to create more works next year.

As a thank you gift the children from Lismore Heights Public School gave Lismore Shopping Square one of the works, which is on display in the centre management office.

Lismore Heights Public School principal Mark Scotton said integrating indigenous education into the school system was at the core of Lismore Heights Public School's philosophy, with teachers at the school even incorporating traditional indigenous practices into staff meetings.

"It's at the core of our curriculum and we see it as an integrated part of our day-to-day life at the school," Mr Scotton said.

Mr Arnott said each of the children who participated in the project had relatives who were artists.

"Being able to pass on the skills I learned from local elders to the children has been a wonderful opportunity," Mr Arnott said.

"To be given the opportunity to share the works with the local community through Lismore Shopping Square, the community hub for the region, was terrific."

Lismore Shopping Square marketing manager Mel Carrero said the centre management was very proud to have the artwork on display in their office.



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