The Small School Mentorship Program (SSMP) is in its second year. Thus far, 2016 has seen four small school/artist collaborations.
The premise of the SSMP program is to enrich students learning in non-arts curriculum subjects by having artists and teachers collaborate together on a subject. The artist then links this to their own art practice to present a visual arts immersion day/lesson sharing their knowledge, skills and expertise with the students on the topic – but from an arts perspective.
The engagement of students and staff, the development of new skills and knowledge and the enthusiasm that is generated from this process is invaluable. Cross curriculum collaborations allow for inclusiveness within an education and arts framework, as well as providing the opportunity to extend and challenge students (and teachers).
Dirranbandi State School
English/ Visual Art Collaboration
P-6 participated in a day of art making linked to their English character development with a visual art focus on ATSI perspectives. They were informed by the Noongar Doll makers and Tjanpi Weavers as well as Indonesian Culture and Art dolls. Students applied their knowledge of characters in text and books to create their own sculptural character – with some wonderful results!
Thallon State School
History/Visual Art Collaboration
This collaboration looked at narrative art in History and how art can ‘tell a story’. The students utilised images, papers, old photos (some great old farm machinery and family photos brought in by some students) and newspapers to create mixed media backgrounds that ‘told the story’ of what their year level was studying in history – eg the Gold Rush. As the collaborating artist I brought some Chinese newspapers and votive papers to incorporate and link to this historical aspect of the Gold Rush. The students then drew on tracing paper to layer more history onto their backgrounds.
Hebel State School
Science/Visual Art Collaboration
Hebel State School P-6 had been studying space within the Science Curriculum. In this collaboration I was inspired to use beautiful images of nebulas in space as well as looking at artists who’ve been inspired by space to create multimedia work with sound and visuals. The Hebel students created a number of mixed media backgrounds using a variety of techniques.
These papers were then used to create artist books with possible further English/ Science links that could be used in the classroom with the artist books. (We explored Space poetry as one possibility).
The Small schools Mentorship Program is available to schools of 50 students or fewer in remote and regional Queensland. There are some bookings still available for 2016, and bookings are also being taken for 2017. It’s free for participating schools, with only the cost of any resources required. This project is funded by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.
Flying Arts Alliance has a team of artists trained and ready to collaborate with teachers and visit any school to implement a cross curriculum collaboration. Get in touch with Julie Tanner email@example.com for further information, for booking for SMMP firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to Dirranbandi State School, Hebel State School and Thallon State School staff and students for your warm welcome and enthusiastic art making.
Education Project Coordinator