Studio ARTES is an independent, not for profit organisation servicing over one hundred adults with disabilities. The Studio ARTISTS Professional Development Core program was designed in response to the needs of individuals who have emerged as artists through their involvement in a recreational art program at Studio ARTES.
The collective includes diverse arts practices such as sound/installation art, graphic novel illustration and realistic portraiture. Like all emerging artists, the Studio ARTISTS require structured professional development from experienced artists within their discipline to develop their skills and career. Additionally these artists require access to a working environment which encourages sustained focus. The Studio ARTISTS Program was designed to facilitate these opportunities.
The program structure was informed by a pilot mentorship project in 2011-12, where five Studio ARTISTS received ten days of specialist tuition from an established artist skilled in their specific arts practice. Whilst the trial mentorship project catered to five individuals, the Studio ARTISTS Core program has developed this model into a more sustainable program providing further tuition to the initial five Studio ARTISTS, and enabling the collective to expand to include 15 other vocationally minded artists emerging from the Studio ARTES recreational program.
The program has supported these artists to develop new bodies of work, expand their professional networks and broaden and diversify their collective audience. Workshops were offered in such diverse fields as comic writing, weaving, portrait painting, screen printing and textile construction and embellishment. Participants were able to access specialist art studios including the screen printing studio at Koskela (Chippendale) and the print studio at the College of Fine Arts. Tutors took Studio ARTISTS on tours of relevant galleries and art studios.
The series of specialist art workshops were offered over twelve months, resulting in two exhibitions.
Studio ARTISTS Brigitta Morris, Skye Saxon and Greg Sindel participated in a series of comic workshops with established graphic novelist Leigh Rigozzi. Inspired by the quality of work created in these workshops, Kinokuniya Bookstore in Sydney agreed to stock and sell the completed zines.
To announce this new relationship with Kinokuniya, the three Studio ARTISTS participated in an in-store book launch. Each artist spoke in a panel discussion and participated in a book signing. Morris described the experience as ‘a childhood dream come true.’ Sindel’s father explained ‘Greg’s passion with his zines is to have them recognised and published. This project achieved an introduction to both these aims with Kinokuniya carrying his zine for sale. Greg as part of a panel got to speak in public about his art practice and his particular zine, he had worked on for several months, that was published. The confidence he got from both these aspects of the project were enormous and he has commenced two new concurrent zine projects, which are both well advanced.’
Image 1: Studio Artists Daniel Kim, Guy Fredericks and Emily Crockford with screenprinting mentor Kate Banazi (May 2013) ©
Image 2 and 3: Emily Crockford, Quilted Queen, 2013 ©
All photos courtesy of Emma Johnston ©