My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
Talofa, along with my business partner we own an art school in Upper Hutt. I am a teacher (Dip of Teaching, Bachelor of Ed) with over 20 years' teaching experience and passion for creativity and art. My business partner is an artist currently studying Visual Arts at Massey. We run painting, drawing and 3D sculpture classes for children and teens. We run craft classes, school holiday programmes, birthday parties, staff PD, staff events and team-building activities with mindfulness as a focus. We are currently working with Arthritis NZ and running an Art Therapy programme for their children. We run workshops for adults and love working with groups in the community. We work with schools to provide an arts-based programme that links directly to their inquiry and have had school groups through our studio on a rotational programme.
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
Our art school opened in 2018. We have successfully run a series of programmes for children and adults. We currently offer painting, drawing and 3D sculpture classes for children, craft classes for children, birthday parties, art holiday programmes and a series of workshops for adults. These range from painting, beeswax food wraps, paint and pour, mosaic, sewing, crochet, cake decorating and photography. We connect with wonderful creatives in our community and continue to grow and offer more as our business evolves. We love any opportunity to work with schools and have had great success connecting with a school's Ako Nui. As part of their inquiry on forces we created an arts-based programme for their children. Over several days we had busloads of children visit our studio and experience an art-based rotation with a focus on forces. This is what we love! Meeting the needs of children in a fun and creative non-threatening way. Our classes are fully booked and as the demand for our services grows we now have 7 creative tutors working with us. We would love any opportunity to connect with schools in our wider community.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I started teaching over 20 years ago. I have taught children from new entrants through to year 8 in New Zealand and three years in London. Over this time my passion for teaching art has increased. I have not only seen a hunger for more arts in our schools but I have witnessed first-hand the benefits that art has for students' well-being. Since starting the art school I have worked with children aged 3–16 years and have thoroughly enjoyed working with adults. I would love to offer more to the staff in our primary schools. I see a need for more Professional Development in our schools and our art school would love to be a part of this movement. My business partner is a very talented artist who has taught children and adults. She is currently studying Art at Massey and brings with her a wealth of knowledge, skill and experience. She has also worked in the classroom as a teacher aide and has created school murals, backdrops for productions and many many classroom displays as a part of her contribution to school. Together she and I make a great team.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
We love working with children. Over the years we have experienced first hand how making any kind of visual art can have positive outcomes. The cognitive, social, emotional and physical benefits of creating visual arts is something we are able to offer through our programmes everyday. Making art reduces anxiety, can make you more resilient and can improve your overall cognitive functioning. More and more we are seeing a greater need for these opportunities in our society. We believe that with our experience, passion and wonderful team of creatives behind us that we can be of great benefit to our schools. Being a part of the Creatives in Schools programme would be a perfect combination. As an experienced teacher I know the demands on staff and the workload our teachers carry. My aim is to work with schools and I believe that together we can provide a programme that meets the needs of the students, providing our children with opportunities to celebrate their creativity, uniqueness and sense of belonging. We are flexible and have a team of tutors that are fantastic with children too. Connecting and engaging is key and we would love to be a part of this.