Vinnies Launches Art Workshop and Exhibition

An exhibition of emerging community artists will be opening today Thursday 14, after a yearlong collaboration between the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) and Artspace. It is the culmination of a program bringing art to the local community and empowering emerging artists to expand their notion of what art is, and how to create it themselves.

The Society’s Ozanam Learning Centre (OLC) has partnered with AGNSW and Artspace Sydney Visual Arts Centre in Woolloomooloo to roll out its newest program, the Making Now Workshop and Exhibition. The exhibition of completed works will be officially opened Thursday 14th September at 6pm and is open to the public.

The OLC focuses on producing sustainable pathways that provide people with skills, confidence, and opportunities. The Making Now workshop was designed to expose participants to contemporary art, and to broaden their thinking and creativity.

Luke Arnold, OLC Art Coordinator, has been working with Lola Pinder, Curatorial Assistant, and Michelle Newton, Deputy Director at the Artspace gallery for the past three years.

“Artspace and the OLC facilitated visits and talks with professional artists so OLC service users could engage with contemporary art,” said Luke Arnold. “I observed how untraditional approaches to art challenged participants’ thinking and notions.”

Artspace introduced Arnold to Jonathan Wilson, the Community Programs Producer at AGNSW, who proposed an idea for a workshop that would help service users engage with galleries, contemporary art, broader ways of thinking and new ways to create. Arnold and Wilson grabbed the idea and created the Making Now program.

Making Now is a 12 week workshop. It offers the participants a platform to create, discuss, question, and reflect on their art, as well as other works. With the support of practicing contemporary artists, conversations are opened to the group with an academic tone, but a language that is accessible to all participants.

Luke Arnold explained, “It was an exciting journey travelling down a new and for some artists an unknown path of creativity. New concepts and new ways of making were introduced which were challenging but also inspiring, as it got the artists creating works in different and unique ways.

“The outcome of Making Now has been invaluable for everyone involved. The artists not only learnt new ways to work, but have found new elements within themselves as creative people and at the end of the workshop we have a group of prolific artists presenting a bold exhibition that is resonating with a sense of excitement, adventure and confidence.”

Opening: Thursday 14 September 6-8pm

Exhibition dates: 15-24 September

Where: Art Space, 43-51 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo