The Power of Art

Term: 1 Year: 2019

St Mary’s Primary School is situated in a little town called Cohuna, three hours north of Melbourne on the Victorian side of the Murray River. It has approximately 120 students and teachers who are passionate about the Arts.

Every three years the entire school dedicates a term of their Inquiry Studies to Visual Art. This year our Inquiry focus was: ‘Does Art have Power?’ Two hours of every week were devoted to the exploration of different artists and art movements, where learners worked on an art project within set groups. Learners were assisted by their teachers, local artists and volunteers.
Learners were broken up into small groups of 6-8 to complete activities including:

  • Japanese Fans and Umbrellas
  • A large Papier Mache Giraffe with local artist, Lyndsey Quinlan
  • Cardboard Musical Instruments
  • Digital Portraits
  • Beading – Necklaces, Spiders and Scorpions
  • Painting with local artist Anne Grogan
  • Weaving and Macramé
  • Pantyhose Sculpture
  • Modelling with Clay
  • Rock Art with volunteer Casey Spring
  • Textiles and Button Pictures
  • Mosaics with local artist Betty McLoughlan
  • Patchwork/Sewing/Craft with local volunteer, Lee Walkington

The Term 3 art activities culminated in an amazing Art Festival in Term 4 called The Power of Art, which opened the 2018 Big Cohuna Festival. The Cohuna Festival is designed to showcase the community and township of Cohuna, with a market, open farms, music, local food and access to local art studios. Over two days The Power of Art Festival displayed works of local artists and the learners of St Mary’s Primary School. Students from around the area were also invited to enter the School Art Competitions for both primary and secondary students.

On the Friday night the Town Hall was transformed into a stunning art gallery, with local artists creating and exhibiting their artwork alongside the learners’ amazing creations. There were also interactive art displays, live music and food vendors – adding to the festival atmosphere! Saturday was ‘Family Day’ and the gallery at the Town Hall was again open to the public with artworks for sale and art activities for the children, including mask making, watercolour painting, rock painting and paper plate crafts.

The whole event brought together local artists and the community for a wonderful experience that illustrated how important and valued art is in our community. Art does have power!

Nicky Merkel
Committee Member
St Mary’s Primary School, Cohuna