Art Connect program will join the dots between creativity and wellbeing
Being artistic has some surprising benefits, staff at Murray Bridge youth organisation the Station explain.
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An upcoming art program in Murray Bridge will aim to aid young people’s wellbeing while also giving them practical advice for finding art opportunities.
Art Connect will give local youth the chance to express themselves and develop creative and other skills.
A series of free fortnightly sessions will be held at the Station on Thursdays from May 11 to July 6.
The program is for anyone aged from 12 to 25 and will promote creative thinking, design, the use of different mediums and the benefits of art for wellbeing.
The Murray Bridge council’s youth development officer Aiden Fargher explained further the creative and practical content of Art Connect.
“We aim to engage participants using multiple mediums and encourage techniques of creative thinking, design, drawing, spray paint, brush paint, stencilling, along with how to seek murals and art opportunities in the community,” he said.
The five Art Connect sessions will take place from 4pm to 6pm at the Station on May 11, May 25, June 8, June 22 and July 6.
More information: Contact Aiden Fargher on 0427 400 635 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aerosol art workshops provide multiple spin-offs
The Station has a long history of presenting artistic opportunities for young people, including during the recent school holidays.
Dale Trotter of Morilla Community Services presented two aerosol art workshops at the Station last Friday.
He said they were good for youth wellbeing.
“I grew up in the Blue Mountains and got shown a workshop like this at around 13, and I was blown away,” he said.
“It changed my life – being given an avenue to express myself with spray paints.
“I saw how it helped me and built up my self-esteem, so I want to give that back.”
Apart from the therapeutic benefits of expressing oneself through art, Trotter explained other advantages to creating art with aerosols.
“I found a lot of culture in it – the hip hop culture,” he said.
Emphasising the point, throughout the workshop a boy on the stage played hip hop, but the instrumental versions of Eminem and others weren’t just for ambience.
“A lot of hip hop repeats over several bars, so the repetition of the beats creates regulation,” Trotter said.
“If people are nervous, the repetition reduces that – the person knows what’s coming next, so it takes some of the anxiety out of the activity.
“Shaking the cans channels the nervousness out, and moving the body is also good for regulation.”
Trotter also compared spray-painting to tai chi and explained the psychological benefits of spraying with colours.
“It’s colour therapy – you pick up your favourite colour and cover a large area really quickly,” he said.
“Different colours can change your mood quickly: It’s instant gratification.”
The participants at the workshop confirmed its positive benefits.
“I enjoyed it because it’s a new style, so that was fun, and I got to do a lesson I’d like to draw – I’d definitely do it again,” Braden Watts said.
Participant Ashe Ramp was also happy with the workshop.
“I had a lot of fun – I enjoyed it more than I thought,” she said.
Disability support worker Tiffany Henderson was pleased that she’d taken children to the aerosol workshop.
“Dale does an amazing job with the youth – he gets their artistic side out, and they’re able to engage with the others in a positive environment,” she said.
Murray Bridge council youth officer Aiden Fargher organises workshops and activities for the Station, many being music and art related.
Fargher agreed that the aerosol workshops were good for the youth who attended.
“There’s the social aspect for young people who want to connect with others, and the children develop arts skills and have positive role models – people who are kind,” he said.
“We’re very lucky the council supports these activities.”