Hannah Klomp | Tues, October 23, 2012, 11:44 AM
WOLLONGONG is currently getting ready to celebrate the creativity and cultural identity that is so abundant in the city with its annual arts festival, Viva la Gong being held this year on Saturday, 10th November.
The event will be held at the MacCabe Park and will feature a range of different acts occurring from circus acts, food and a community street parade.
Nina Kourea, a freelance artist and the project manager of Viva la Gong in 2011 is one of the many residents who are excited about what the festival will feature this year and really agreed that this festival was an important tradition.
“It is the one time of the year where the community can get together and celebrate the cultural diversity of this great town” Kourea said.
The Viva La Gong Festival caters to all types of people, from young children to elderly people all having a reason to come together and celebrate not only the multicultural diversity that has been perpetuated through students coming into Wollongong to study at the TAFE and University mentioned John Monteleone, the gallery director at the Wollongong City Gallery, but the festival is also effective in creating a community through the love of art, music and other creative disciplines.
Leah Ellis, a student from the University of Wollongong with interests in music and drama also commented, “I think the festival is really effective in the way that it pulls together so many Wollongong families through music. Adding to that, the fact that the music and festivities are wonderful, it’s a great event for the whole community.”
The festival will be free entry and is held on Saturday 10th November 2012 at the MacCabe Park running from 11 AM to 9 PM. Make sure you come down and check it out. For more information check out these links.
Hannah Klomp | Mon, October 15 2012, 2:19 PM
WITH new art galleries, studios and design spaces opening in Wollongong City, it is inevitable that a new culture and atmosphere has emerged attracting more and more people into the city and according to John Monteleone, the gallery director at the Wollongong City Gallery, “has generated a broader sense of community as well as a more positive future for the city.”
Since January this year, art and design influenced shops and cafes within the Crown Street Mall such as Milk Thieves, Terrarium Gallery and Yours and Owls have become an important part of the local community where people of all ages have been able to utilize these spaces to interact with art and design as well as “attract alternative people into the city to continually turn [Wollongong] into a buzzing community.”
The council of Wollongong has also created a “buzz” in the city with its funding for the Wollongong City Gallery and also by the use of public art around the city. This public art is frequently distributed from local artists and their works are publicly displayed throughout Wollongong.
“There has also been talk about even more public art in the near future to be displayed within the city centre” Monteleone said.
With all this hype in the city, Monteleone questioned the ways that Wollongong can “stay alive” and emphasized his opinion that the city had great potential to grow and do great things in relation to this new culture emerging, with his comparison to the diverse and unique atmosphere in Sydney’s Newtown stating that “people go there regardless and that’s what we have to create in Wollongong.”
“It is really important that Wollongong differentiated itself from its surrounding areas and continues to provide access to artistic spaces including cafes, galleries and spaces, and by doing so they will feed off each other and this will create major growth in Wollongong”
Check out these links for further details..
Carolyn Nowaczyk is an artist, with creative sparks flying out of her with some of her skills abundant in drawing, design, photography and music. When speaking with people who knew of Nowaczyk, smiles quickly would cover ones face assuring me that this lady was in fact “extremely talented.”
Describing herself as “genuine, creative, inquisitive, hard-working and art-loving,” Nowaczyk provides a unique perspective into the art and design culture that is currently evolving in Wollongong.
Carolyn, who insisted me to call her “Caz” as many others call her, began her art journey quite young, telling me that she used to sit and draw all day and smiled as she told me the story about “claiming [her] father’s SLR camera” when she was 13 years old, hinting that her family had an influence in her interest in the arts.
Caz described her interest in design as being that she “fell” into it through her photography work and explained that she learn a lot of her work through hands on efforts.
“I had studied a creative photography course at TAFE and was cutting up my photographs, collaging them and then re-photographing them. I went for a job interview as a graphic design assistant and got the job through those photographs because they had a design feel. I learnt on the job and had to teach myself technologies and programs as they progressed. It wasn’t until years later that I did a Masters in Creative Arts (Graphic Design and New Media) at Uni of Wollongong. I got in based on the strength of my portfolio.”
Caz gives off a very relaxed and “free” vibe when seated with her and this feeling is also express within her artistic works especially that of her design based art. Her main style of art, she describes is “very design based coming from a graphic design background, but it also has a pop-art influence. I tend to use bold colours, illustration, abstraction and design.”
Not only is Nowacyzk an artist but she is also one of the creative halves of Wollongong’s Exposure Arts and Media Studio 19 in partnership with photographer Nina Kourea. Studio 19 has been open for almost a year now, beginning in January 2012 and is now used as an artist space with drawing, music, writing, modelling and painting completely infused into the studio’s “funky” atmosphere.
“We have developed a creative hub where people can come to ask for advice about their projects, meet other creative people and be nurtured to develop their projects. We are all about telling people they can develop their ideas.”
Caz is also a musician being the former lead singer of the band ‘Dreamgirl and the motorist,’ and when I asked to play some of her songs she gestured ‘Oh, no’ shyly but it wasn’t long when there was a free guitar available that Caz started gracefully picking some tunes on the guitar. Her interests, she says are inspired by the relaxed lifestyle that she lives in Wollongong and this “gives [her] energy to create.”
“The aesthetic of Wollongong is inspiring also – the steel works juxtaposed against a backdrop of the escarpment and sea is fantastic. Also, there is a huge creative community in Wollongong creating amazing art and that in itself is inspiring and exciting.”
For further information about Carolyn Nowaczyk, check out these links..
Hannah Klomp | Sun, October 7, 2012, 11:10 PM
PARENTS and students from Wollongong Public School have conflicting views regarding the importance of the subject of art in primary education, and whether it is beneficial for a child’s learning experience.
Many of the parents and students agreed that there were many beneficial aspects of having creative arts as part of the learning experience in a child’s primary education but some questioned whether it was necessary to have creative arts as a subject.
“I think that Creative Arts is a significant subject in stimulating a child’s brain and learning experience, whether it is deciphering colours to creating different things with their hands, art is extremely beneficial in all learning experiences, even outside of the subject.. wait, no it is even extremely beneficial outside of the classroom!” said Julia Garbers, mother of two primary school aged children.
Creative arts is a subject that all students have a chance to participate in from the early stages of education prior to primary school right up to senior school where students are able to choose the subject of Creative Arts for further studies.
“Art is something we have always learnt. I don’t think there has to be a subject about it, it should just always be a part of the classroom I reckon,” said Caleb Garbers aged 11 who has an interest in drawing.
In the past year, the culture of Wollongong has been changing with an emphasis on art and design being a central focus of the diversity and cultural identity that the city has, and this has also been embraced in local schools around the area, including Wollongong Public School.
Hannah Klomp | Wed, October 17 2012, 8:27 PM
TUESDAY night’s in Wollongong have become much more entertaining since the Exposure Arts and Media opened Studio 19, with drawing sessions being run by creative minds Carolyn Nowaczyk and Nina Kourea, capturing the attention of local residents every second Tuesday night.
“Anything can happen at a Tuesday night drawing session! It really is dictated by the performer and the audience reaction and/or participation. We’ve had such a diverse range of performers modeling for us that each night is different from the others.” Nowaczyk said.
Studio 19 has a “somewhat funky vibe,” noted a local resident who had been attending the classes regularly.
The sessions are different to what a person might expect from a drawing session, with live models who have backgrounds in circus, theatre, dance, music and other disciplines held in a new urban studio space which results in an entertaining night no matter who the person.
We [have] created a unique work opportunity for those performers and a unique drawing experience for the creative community – and what a fun process it has been.” Nowaczyk said passionately.
“We’ve had circus performers who have held upside-down positions up on crates, hula-hoopers and musicians. These sessions feel incredibly special – we have an intimate performance and often hear stories from the performers that they wouldn’t normally tell at a large-scale gig, plus we get to ask them questions – all whilst drawing them and documenting the evening from a really special perspective.”
The unique atmosphere that is vibrant within these drawing sessions significantly push the communal feeling that is alive in Wollongong and a place where the arts and design can be celebrated and enjoyed.
The night runs from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM every second Tuesday night at Studio 19, situated in the Central Chambers above Hideaway Café , 157 Crown Street Wollongong. For further information and bookings to one of these great sessions, check out this link.
Hannah Klomp | Mon, October 1 2012, 2:25 PM
WHEN taking a walk around Wollongong City during the day, an individual is bombarded with all different kinds of sights but it is not hard to notice the strong sense of community that is abundant and alive within the town. Emma-Lee Crane, a freelance designer and owner of indie store, Milk Thieves, agreed that the community atmosphere in Wollongong really perpetuates the culture of art and design and is a great place for artists to be.
“We all help each other out here. If someone comes into my store, I let them know about the other art spaces, and [the other stores] do the same for me. It really helps everybody out” said Crane.
Crane, who used her hands excitedly to communicate, mentioned that her store, Milk Thieves which is situated in the Crown Street Central Chambers, supports local art and design with pieces in her store “ranging from works from stay at home mums to professional artist with some of the supplies coming directly from Wollongong.”
Milk Thieves, an indie store that embraces the “homemade revolution” invites many people from all different backgrounds to participate in the art and design culture in Wollongong, inviting people to not only use art in their everyday lives but as Crane mentioned “anybody can approach the store and asked to be featured.”
“I think this shop works really well in Wollongong and can only really exist here because it is not so competitive” stated Crane who compared her store to what she had seen in major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.
Crane concluded, “I think the appreciation of art in Wollongong is evolving. Art is becoming something of purpose with more of a celebrating element of the usefulness, especially in my Milk Thieves where there are many one off pieces.”
For more information about Emma-Lee Crane and her store, Milk Thieves, check out this Link.
ARTISTS in the area of Wollongong have been recently encouraged to participate more actively in the art and design within their area with new galleries and studios opening at Wollongong’s Crown Street Mall this past month.
Many residents, including local young artist, Alexis Attard, believes that this initiative by the local council in opening these galleries and studios is something that not only encourages local artists to participate more in the art and design culture in Wollongong, but it is also extremely beneficial in creating community and unity in the local area.
“Having galleries in Wollongong means that we are bringing art and design to a more local and accessible level. When locals see an artwork, especially if it is from a local artist, it perhaps evokes something in them, a sense of belonging as if to think “Someone in my area has created this!” and there is a definite connection.”
The galleries and studios, such as The Terrarium and Studio 19 that have recently opened in the Central Chambers in Crown Street Mall have not only caused excitement on a local level, but will also emphasise the city’s international reputation regarding its excellence in the art and design culture.
“The studios give artists and designers a great opportunity to share their creations with the community, in a professional and presentable fashion. I can’t see why a chain reaction couldn’t start, having these art hubs in Wollongong will really be able to link the community as a whole, really showcasing the talent in Wollongong not only to locals but maybe even internationally, on an art spectrum!” Attard stated.
“We’ve got talent, imagination, and ability and together with the galleries, the people, other resources, we have a determination in the arts and design, with all that we, as a communication can only grow from here.”
Currently the Terrarium Gallery is open from 12 on Wednesday through to Saturday and Studio 19 hold drawing lessons every Tuesday at 6:30.
Terrarium Gallery: http://terrariumgallery.com/
Studio 19: http://exposurearts.com.au