Creative teachers are being celebrated at the Inverell Art Gallery, with an eclectic exhibition filled with everything from teddy bears to a wedding dress.
The Regional Educators Art Exhibition opens on Friday night, May 18 from 6.30pm, and will continue until June 21.
It features pieces created by educators of all kinds, from school teachers to art tutors, even those who’ve retired.
“There’s a variety of people taking part,” gallery supervisor Jo Williams said.
“We’ve got a wedding dress and we’ve got people that spin and weave their own wool, we’ve got teddy bears, some rag dolls, paintings, charcoal drawings, ukuleles, photos, some jewellery and silk scarves.”
Carolyn McCosker’s painting ‘Vessel’, a symbolic representation of a boat, draws the eye with a minimalist aesthetic mixed with complex textures.
“I often use the symbol of the boat in my artwork because it represents a journey or a crossing, an adventure – different transitions and phases of life that we enter into – and I see education as one such vehicle,” she said.
Leonie Turner shared her passion for colouring textiles with a pair of black shirts adorned with scenes set in space and under the sea.
“I’ve looked at colouring children’s designs on a t-shirt using a flat, acrylic paint,” she explained.
She also showed her expertise with silk, displaying scarves decorated in geometric patterns and a silk necklace.
Ms Williams said the exhibition, which is the first of its kind in Inverell, was created when local teachers expressed their interest in showing their work at the local gallery.
“It was suggested that we extend it a little bit and make it a regional educators art exhibition,” she said.
Ms Turner and Ms McCosker said print maker Nadia Kliendanze was key in promoting the event around the region.
Ms Williams said many educators discover that creating artworks is an effective relaxation tool.
“It may be somebody that teaches one subject but then does some art or craft as a hobby. You might have an English teacher that does photography or a textiles teacher that does painting, for example,” she said.
In addition to the Regional Educators Exhibition, the art gallery is also taking entries for the annual Inverell Art Prize. Open until August 31, the total prize money is $5000. Entry forms are available from the gallery website.
“We’re noticing that the quality of the works seem to be improving each year,” Ms Williams said.
The opening of the Regional Educators Exhibition costs $5 a head. The bar will be operating.