A new space for junior artists

2021 started with an explosion of colour and excitement for Junior School Students as they find themselves immersed in their Visual Arts Lessons in a new learning environment.

In late 2020, the need for a dedicated Junior School Art space became apparent as the previously allocated room in The Croydon was no longer available due to the consistently growing number of our senior Visual Arts classes. This is testament to the quality of Visual Arts programs offered to both our junior and senior students and the value and esteem in which the Creative Arts are held within the College.

In response to the increase in students using The Croydon’s studio spaces, a dedicated Visual Arts room needed to be established for our Junior School Artists. Therefore, over the course of the Christmas Break, one of the Year 2 Classrooms not being used for 2021 was transformed into a space that would allow for both wet and dry artmaking processes.

The floors were covered with light, wood grain linoleum and sinks were installed close to the doorway. Display hooks and gallery wire have been hung to allow for the consistent display and appreciation of student work, and the intensity of the natural light that shines through the large windows means that we often do not need to turn on the ceiling lights. A variety of plants have been collected and installed within the space to not only assist students in connecting with nature whilst indoors, but to assist with providing a sense of peace and calm when entering the room.

The new Junior School Visual Arts room is large in scale which allows for the effective delivery of differentiated learning experiences for students within lessons. Students have access to a wide range of Art related books and publications if they finish a task early or need a break from what they may be working on. Large, brightly coloured cushions adorn the walls of the space and are now used mostly by Stage 3 students, looking for an alternative to sitting at a desk.

The latest, and probably most exciting addition to the new Junior Art Room, is the young, Long-Necked Turtle who now resides outside the entrance to the art space. She has only recently joined us in Evandale, but has been the source of beautiful inspiration for many artmaking activities completed by our Junior School artists already.

Students have reacted with pure joy and gratitude at being able to explore their artmaking experiences in this new room. So far this year they have experimented with ceramics, printmaking, drawing, painting and sculptural processes, utilising the space and light within the new studio. Pre-Kindergarten in particular have enjoyed being able to experience a variety of activities within one lesson and their skills and curiosity toward artmaking processes have increased.

Kindergarten loved the freedom of experimenting with acrylic paint and creating shades and tones with a sense of uninhibited expression, and students in Years 1 and 2 regularly poke their heads into the room inquiring if today was their turn to spread ink on a canvas or be inspired by the Surreal work of Salvador Dali. Their enthusiasm is second to none!

Years 3 to 6 express similar feelings as they come to this specialised space in Evandale, giving them a sense of change from their regular learning environment in Hamilton. The connection and relationships being formed between Hamilton and Evandale students through our Stage 2 and 3 students walking across to the new Junior School Art Room add another layer of value to the development of this new space.
I am extremely grateful to be able to facilitate our Visual Arts Programs in this inspiring and peaceful new space and, I believe our students and teachers of the Junior School feel much the same.

I cannot wait to see what amazing art pieces continue to evolve this year from our Junior School artists via our new studio space.

Mrs Alison Lloyd
Junior School Visual Arts Coordinator