Meet Alister, the Art Teacher!

Love in the Time of Covid 19

no. 8 23 April 2020

What's on at the virtual community house?

In this issue:

1. Community Audiobook 2. Here's My Project - XiaoWei's "Building Project" 3. Interview - Meet Alister, the Art Teacher

1. Community Audiobook

Dear Readers, THANK YOU SO MUCH for giving this project voices, sounds, ideas, and encouragement!

The Community Audiobook will be delivered to your mailbox every week.

Made by the community, for the community, with lots of love ❤


2. Here's My Project

Streets are quiet, Awesome things are happening... at home! See what others have been doing during self-isolation.

XiaoWei's family has been busy carrying out their "Building Project"

"Dad and I were working on building the playground mainly. Charlie helped a bit in between. Took us 3 and a half day. Oh well, the instruction book says it needs 2 people for 9 hours, but there is no way we can finish that in 1 day. Kids love the playground, we added additional slide and telescope for them to play with, they love them!"

Thank you so much for the photos, XiaoWei!

Kids look so happy in the photos :)

So, Dear Readers, 

What projects are you working on?

Share your passion, help your community stay connected :)

3. Interview

Meet Alister, the Community Art Teacher!

Hi Alister, what is Community Art?

Community art is inclusive, it is for everyone, it isn’t exclusive like a lot of art can be.  Anyone can make art, engage with art and community art is there to support this engagement.

OK. As a Community Art teacher, do you think art is still important during this time?

I think art is proving just how important it is every day.  People are turning to art everywhere to get through the isolation that they are feeling. They are watching movies, listening to music, going onto their balconies and singing.  People are posting more and more creative responses to the isolation and finding ways to collaborate remotely.  

Any tips on spending time at home?

Explore the things that you haven’t thought about in ages, those passions that you had but haven’t thought about in an age, revisit them. Get around to all those little jobs that you have been meaning to get to.

For example, I used to be very interested in Botanical drawing so I have started to revisit that passion in my work.  And jobs I have done, I have rearranged my studio so it works better and I have started trying to fix one of the windows in my home, it is all starting to collapse.

Any contents you'd recommend?

Check out your local library, they have an excellent online collection of books, movies, audio books etc.  Spend some time exploring Vimeo’s staff picks, there is always something interesting and innovative to watch.  Check out Kanopy, it is full of movies and tv shows that you won’t find anywhere else, you just need a library card.

Have an explore of Instructables and get lost in all the things you can try to make or modify!

YouTube is full of artist talks, arts documentaries and how to videos. My favourites are anything with William Kentridge in it, he is such an inspiring artist and thinker - Here is his interview. And check out the Art 21 channel, it always has lots of excellent content.

Also, have a look at the Arts channel on iView, there’s heaps of interesting material to watch.

Open Studio is cancelled. What can people do on their own?

You can make art with anything, don’t worry if you don’t have paint, canvas or nice paper. Draw with what you have, if you only have a blue biro then draw with that, I love drawings done in biro! Grab a sharp pencil and a note pad, put some coins under the paper and try rubbing the pencil over the top of the paper. Try finding other interesting textures around the house and do rubbings of them on your paper.

A message to your class participants:

I’m sure that we will be back together working in the space at East Coburg Neighbourhood House in the very near future.  In the mean time I will try to connect with you as much as I can and I will produce some short art videos for you to engage with. Please look after yourself and stay safe!

Who is Alister?

I have been working as an art teacher in the community sector since 2003 at various organisations across Melbourne. I have also ran an art gallery in Brunswick, worked as a gallery technician and I have worked for Moreland City Council as an event manager for their inclusive arts events. I have been employed by Melbourne city council, Melbourne Fringe Festival and Arts Victoria as an arts judge and/or assessor. 

The Open Studio program is a group that has been meeting every Friday morning since 2017 at East Coburg Neighbourhood House.  The group supports artists with and without a disability to produce their art in a friendly and supportive environment.  The group is individual focused which means I work closely with each participant to help them develop their work and find opportunities for outcomes that suit their practice. 

Help your community stay connected. Your comments and photos keep this virtual community house alive. See past newsletters Click here to subscribe

From the NECCHi team (Newlands & East Coburg Community Hubs inc.)

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