I am available to any schools in the Selwyn district, but am based in Springfield.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I am a specialist primary trained art teacher and artist. My specialisms include landscape paintings, mural paintings, and pen and ink drawings of native birds. Over the last 10 years I have developed my craft through numerous individual art projects and also working in schools with children on large-scale art projects and mural work. I was selected to represent New Zealand in Croatia with my landscape paintings at an event called the World Art Games and on return I established an art and music education studio.
My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with
I graduated in 2001 from Bishop Grosseteste College in England with a BA Hons Art degree, which is equivalent to a primary teaching diploma, and an Hons degree in Visual Art with an Art in Education focus. In 2011, following the birth of my first child, I decided to leave the full-time primary teaching profession to focus on my own art and art education in Canterbury. I have been employed by many schools in the area to work on long-term art projects, which include large-scale mural projects in addition to being employed as an art specialist teacher. I was selected to represent New Zealand at the World Art Games with my landscape paintings. An art gallery has employed me at different times to run workshops, along with a cluster of schools who have employed me to run professional development workshops for teachers. I have held several exhibitions of my work (landscape paintings and pen and ink drawings of native birds) and now own and manage an art and music education studio, which currently has 106 students on the roll.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
As a former primary-school teacher, my entire career has been based around working and teaching young people. As I have previously mentioned, since leaving my full-time teaching position I have worked in numerous schools in our district on large-scale art projects, art enrichment lessons, professional development for teachers, and holiday workshops. Now, as the owner and managing director of an art and music studio, I teach children of all ages from 4-18 and also facilitate landscape painting classes for adults too. Mural work is often very appealing to young people and offers them the opportunity to be part of something that contributes to a collaborative project that adds meaning to their place of belonging.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
The Creative in Schools programme is a building block for what I am already offering in our local district. Schools invite me to work with their students but have to find funding to do this, which sometimes comes from fundraising. Often they comment that they would love to have me back on a more regular basis but are unable to find funding for this. I think it is incredibly important to offer rich, arts-based learning opportunities for our students that are memorable and give them ownership of their place of learning. Many students find creative experiences are an outlet for their anxieties and worries. I have already established great relationships with so many children in this district through art and music education and I am hopeful that the Creatives in Schools programme will enable me the opportunity to continue doing so.