Finger painting's for kids
FOR A little school hidden away on the sugarcane fields of the lower Richmond, Empire Vale Public School's students are getting an enviable education in the arts.
With personal tutoring from the likes of the colourful Ken Done, Mambo's Reg Mombassa and Bundjalung-artist Bronwyn Bancroft, the budding artists of K-3 class are learning much more than finger painting.
The students studied five Australian artists this term, and one of them was Mr Done, who personally took the time, via the internet, to review their art.
"When the students knew that Ken Done was looking at their art, I can tell there was a little bit more attention in class," creative arts teacher Karen Rantissi said.
Ms Rantissi said Ken Done's art was a great entry point for the students.
"Ken Done is perfect for an infant artist because of the colour, shapes, and vibrancy," Ms Rantissi said.
"It was really good to see that art comes in different forms - it doesn't have to be a polished diamond all the time, it can be fun and playful," she said.
In an inspirational twist, Mr Done declared he took personal inspiration from the students' work.
"It was lovely to hear that someone of his high profile was inspired by the work of our little school."
The students staged their own exhibition last week which featured a range of works inspired by each of the five artists.
The night, hosted by the students who wore bow ties and carried platters of finger food around the floor, also featured an Archibald-style portrait prize judged by local artist Kim Toft.
"It was one of those really happy nights.... for a school of 46 students we had over 200 turn up," Ms Rantissi said.