Friday, July 1, 2016

New Artists Networks

A look in the mirror!

Our culture and arts industry is constantly evolving. By enlarge our sector is dependent on government investment. The amount in the kitty is never secure and changes with the government agenda. At present the arts industry is suitably unfashionable. To depend solely on arts funding for income if foolish, and no way to found a reliable arts base business.

As artists and arts workers we need a reality check. We can whinge to the cows come home about unfair pay rates, unpaid hours and lack of opportunities or take positive steps to address the gaps in the industry and local community. Inactivity and game blaming isn't, going to put food on our tables.

Luckily for me, I am not the only one in Ipswich who shares this views. . . Opportunities do not just present themselves, we create them. Very rarely does someone knock on the door and offer a job to a stranger.  Yet, as artists sometimes that is way we behave.

Sometimes I just want to get paid for my work.

As being self-employed, which most artist are we forget the first rule of business. "Investment", into the business, very few of friends who own small businesses do not draw a wage in their first year of operation and most of their savings went in to purchasing the business, not only are they not drawing a wage their repaying a loan.  So our first step is to stop thinking we're hard down by due to the industry we chose to work in.

We can do one of two things, continue to fight over every last dollar, or work together so we all earn something.  We need to accept art will not be our sole income.

In Ipswich a few splinter groups, including ArtISability are starting to grumble about establishing better networks and working together to pool resources to market the arts community as a whole. Its a model that works very successfully in other industry, putting us behind the eight ball, but at least we're joining the game.

We at ArtISability see value in working with existing networks as we have in the past with disability sector.  We partnered with ALARA Queensland for  three years and the Ipswich City Council.  Now we want a change in direction so we are seen  purely for our creative abilities.  To do that we need to be part of the arts community. Rather than seeking support from the sidelines.

Thus we are moving from a workshop based program to an arts community who support each other to achieve our own goals through collective marketing and advertising.  This will allow me to offer something I've wanted to do but haven't achieve, give artists the power to chose the skills and art forms they want to participate in.

The network will match artists with tutors and mentors who can best enable them to achieve their nominated goals.  Thus in many ways we are a referral service.  However a network structure allows other artists networks to access our services.

We are a meeting place for those who potentially want to work together.  The good news is individual tutors may chose to run workshops through our service, by access of database for direct marketing.

To ensure the skill base of our artists are growing we will be seeking artists working at national and international level to provide our scholarship mentorships.  This type of opportunities are lacking in the area and not everyone with disabilities can travel as much as I do for training.

So there my (manager's) reasoning behind our rethink and restructure.  We hope to start recruiting in September.

Changing Tides and the NDIS

From July 1, the way we think about supporting people with disabilities and their families change. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is about providing opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in the life of the community. Support or care moves away from a medical model which focuses on the impairments, to a system that supports them to achieve their dreams and aspirations.

People will now have a say in how they are supported and the activities they chose to participate in.  The NDIS is geared towards employment (paid or unpaid) and learning and training.

While respite will continue the way it is funded will look very different.  The way to address aging carers issues is to assist people to be more independent and independently living options as a long term goal. The NDIS will be looking at the most cost effective means to support people to achieve their goals.

Many artists I have worked with over the last three years have a goal to establish their own art practise and sell their work.  Sadly in Ipswich we have thus far fail to promote these artists as 'artists' the drive towards therapy art is strong.

ArtISability has always had a vision to build a social inclusive community through engaging in community classes, workshops and retreats. This is the main reason I am relucent to hire our own space.

Thus we as an arts based program, primarily funded by arts funding is viewed as a disability support provider or a stem of ALARA Queensland.  The fact we are artists in our own right evades all.

The NDIS presents new opportunities and new way of doing things. I get that this is scary . . . But the unknown provokes fear.  If we don't try we have failed before we begin. July 1, presents the prefect opportunity to 'change our strips', and cut tides with 'ability' or 'disability' tags.

To quote one of our ArtISability tutors,

" Once my artwork is hanging on a gallery wall. my disability becomes invisible."

Judith Baker (2014)
Ipswich Poet, Author and Artists

Labels only service to undermine this extremely powerful statement by Judy. Our work at ArtISability has nothing to do with abilities or disabilities. Our work is to work together in the mainstream to build inclusion.

Our new look network system is run for the arts community and our rates will be consistent across the board.  I want to send a clear message to the public - we are artist working together.

Primarily this will not involve workshops, we will act as an agency who supports assists to find the resources the need.  This individual approach is consistent with the mainstream art world and the changing land scrape under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

We're reaching for the stars

Thursday, June 30, 2016


Towards Independence

Pilot Program 2014
In 2014 Deb Chilton has a Regional Arts Develop Grant through Arts Queensland to run a professional development program for artists living with disability and mental illness. Six artists took part in this program with 4 artists successfully connecting with the local arts community following the program.

We gained funding for a further 2 programs to connect artists with disability and mental illness with the Ipswich arts community. To date over 30 artists have been involved in our programs.

2015 Art Exhibition and Graduation
ArtISability is a community connections program designed to connect artists with disability and mental illness to their mainstream community. From today the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out across Australia.  In Queensland people are already participating on Palm Island and Townsville. 

For those living in Ipswich and thinking of being involved in our future programs the start up date is July 1, 2017. However, the time to get ready for the NDIS in now! Those currently supported by Disability Services will be contracted by the NDIA in early 2017.  You will need to have all your documentation ready. This will include:

  • Your participant statement
  • A carer's statement
  • What you receive now
  • Your plan for the first 12 month, linked to your immediate goals; your short term goals and any long term goals.
Templates for all these documents are available from the NDIS website and your current providers are obligated to help you get ready to transfer to the Scheme.  This involves a number of significant changes in the way people with disabilities are assigned their funding.  In simple terms the NDIS is about choice.

Choice around who provides your support, how you want to be supported, how you want your funding to be administered and by whom. You can even chose to administer your funds.

The major change is how you package is now determined. In the past this was based on what you could not do for yourself. Now it is about what you would like to do and how you want to achieve that.

Essentially the National Disability Insurance Scheme is about people with disabilities and their families connecting and engaging in the life of their community, through employment, volunteering, education, life skills training, independent living - moving out of home, early prevention or community groups.

Participation in the local arts community is at the heart of why I wanted to establish ArtISability. My vision was not to add to the 110 art groups in Ipswich or establish a center or organisation for artists with disabilities and mental illness.  It was to assist artists to participate in mainstream art groups. The concept that the Every Australian Counts Campaign fought for - this was lead by people with disabilities themselves.  This is what the and their families told us they wanted.

ArtISability's current structure is not what artists with disabilities are looking for, nor is it sustainable. Each artist is an individual with their own goals and aspirations. Thus a individual approach is needed.

Which is why we're introducing our new artists network to provide individual tutoring.  Matching artists who work with the same mediums.  This see artists with disabilities making direct choices about the direction of their artistic practise.

Workshops may continued to be offered from time to time.  Our new network is Ignite Artists any is open to all artists to access.  Applications will open in September for our 2017 mentorship programs.  We will continue to apply for arts funding, but individuals are as to make a personal contribution. 

We're getting closer to our relaunch so watch this space.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Inducting Friends of ArtISability . . .

Friends Of ArtISability 

Are a group of individuals or local community organisations who have invested in the work of ArtISability in one way or another. They play a vital role in building the sustainability of the ArtISability program in Ipswich and beyond.

ALARA Queensland continues to provide accessible venues
which allows artists with disabilities to continue to develop new skills.
The ALARA community continues to collaborative and supports the ongoing work of ArtISability in the Ipswich Community through providing a modern accessible venue where artists can come together, connect and grow.

 Judith Baker was the first Ipswich community member to join the ArtISability Family and played an essential role in the development of the program. 

Judith is a local Ipswich artist living with disability herself she knows first hand the barriers artists with disability face in building their visual arts practice.

When asked how she thought her disability affected her career, Judy shared the following . . . 

"One my artwork is hanging on a art gallery wall my disability becomes invisible."

Judy continues to be a mentor  to our artists and is keen to help expand the ArtISability program into the Lockey Valley region in 2016.
Meet the Tully family in 2012 I meet the Tully's and volunteered with Disability Community Awareness as I developed the ArtISability Program. Sometime later I meet their son Nick - an indigenous artists with a disability.

Nick completed our 2014 Pilot Program and has worked hard to established himself as an artists in the Ipswich community. Including participating in our Disability Action Week Unmasked Art Exhibition, hosted by Ipswich Arttime Supplies, Drawing Point Gallery. 

Our Stepping Stone artists will be again working towards an art exhibition to celebrate Disability Action Week hosted by the Ipswich City Council Ipswich Library.

Family members of artists who completed our pilot program have continued to support the ArtISability program at a number of community events during 2014. Like James and Erica. 

James is a gifted artist and made in debut at the 2014 Ipswich Show winning first prize in the ceramics. Both Erica and James have worked hard to promote the ArtISability Program and raise funds to address the access needs of artists with disability in the Ipswich Region.

Erica has also assisted Debbie our Manager in the office with administration skills. While  James will be participating in our 2015 Community Connections Program to encourage other artists with disability as they begin their journey. 

As our Community Connections Workshops aims to build an inclusive community for all artists in the Ipswich Community we hope the introduction of Friends of ArtISability will embrace connections among those wanting to support the growth of the arts in Ipswich.

Turning the Earth Studios
Telephone 0417434843

Cynthia join us in 2014 as a teacher support for our sculpture group and we were able to access her firing services. Allowing us to give professional finishes to their artwork. One of our students went on to develop his skills by taking classes with Cynthia at her studio. Cynthia has since ran ArtISability Workshops for us. 

We are hoping people will join our network for all sorts of reasons including making friends with others who enjoy making art and wanting to contribute to the development of artists living with disability and mental illness.

Our friend Silvia and 2015 Art Exhibition Coordinator

Cynthia was able to support Silvia in the running of the sculpture during our pilot program. Silvia has also worked with Access Arts Artist and supported on artists to host his first solo exhibition in Brisbane.

Access Arts has supported ArtISability in a number of ways since concept development. Without the support of Access Arts it would been a lot more difficult for ArtISability to get off the group. ArtISability hopes Access Arts will partner again with us in the future.

As you can see there are many reasons to become one of our friends . . .

  1. Making friends
  2. Developing your networks.
  3. Free participation in our workshops and community events.
  4. Marketing your own small business - word of month is still the most powerful marketing tool.
  5. We're happy to plug you and you skills in newsletters facebook and website. 
 There a no joining fees or requirements or even meetings simply let us know how you can support us and we'll acknowledge your friendship, here's a few suggestions. 

  1. Assist with marketing by handing out flyers.
  2. Help with printing costs by receiving them by pdf to email or print to give your networks.
  3. Encourage people to participate in our workshops, visit our exhibitions and buy the work of our artists.
  4. Offer to volunteer by distributing flyers, supporting and artists with a disability to access information or fill in paper work.
  5. Assist with fundraising
  6. Volunteer in our office.  

We would love you to become a friend of ArtISability!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Some workshops we'll be offering

“The Wonderful World of Mediums”
This in one of the workshops that will cover the exciting mediums of Acrylic’s, Pastels and Watercolours, It will explore the many different and exciting ways that each medium can be used to create a wide variety of very different artworks.  Students will be able to practice the various medium and its different applications for special effects during the workshop.  Basic knowledge of mediums and their application will help students to get the best results from their artistic creations.

With Judith Baker

 “Getting to know your tools

“The second workshops will introduce students to the many tools that are used in producing artworks in Acrylics, Pastels and Watercolour.  A labourer may be prone to blaming his tools for shoddy workmanship, but the artist loves using the best quality tool for the job.  This workshop covers the use of brushes, palette knives, Palettes, mixed media odds and ends, innovative techniques using Cling Wrap, Sponges, twigs and more.  Students get to put into practise the tools they have seen during the workshop.

With Judith Baker

Introduction to the Pottery Studio 

Owner and operator of Turning Earth Studio, Cynthia took out second prize in the 2014 Ipswich QT Art Awards. Cynthia offers craft parties, workshops, classes and many holiday activities in local shopping centres and has recently opened Ipswich Pottery .

Introduces you to the pottery world in her home studio, Turning Earth Ceramic; 5 Glasslow St Brassel. This is a four week course limited to three students, where Cynthia will show you the tools of the trade, different types of clay, and guide you through the process of making different types of creatures. There is a limit of three students per class.  Studio is wheelchair accessible.  Limit nos. Means these workshops are only open to artists with physical disabilities and bookings are essential. 
Classes run from 17th July to 28th August on Alterative Fridays.

Cynthia re-joins us later in the program for Introduction to sculpture. Be guided by Cynthia as to build your own sculptures.  Pieces can be fired in time for our exhibition opening on 23rd November.  

With Cynthia Manettia 

Introduction to the world of Printmaking –

In five weeks Silvia promises to open up the world of printmaking to the beginner, using printmaking techniques not requiring a printing press, while students may enjoy exploring the world of printmaking with Silvia over five weeks most of her workshops can be stand alone. Perhaps you’re already enjoying printmaking and just want to brush up your skills in one of the workshops Silvia is offering to ArtISability Participants in 2015. Monoprinting, screen printing, and book making.  Silvia’s series of workshops commence on Friday 17th July for five alterative Fridays)

Please note Silvia’s workshops run for 3 hours. (1 pm to 4pm)

With Silvia Herranza 

Abstract Process

OmiLee is a Brisbane based contemporary artist, who gravitates towards abstraction and minimalist styles in her artworks that concentrate on bold colous and textures. Five years into her career and she has participated in two solo and fifteen group gallery exhibitions, as well as having displays in restaurant and retail venues, and attending artists markets through the year. She runs monthly workshops to teach others what she knows in a fun, social environment.
Her workshops allow participants with any level or lack of artistic experience to explore their creative side through abstract, minimalist and expressive techniques, through guidance and demonstration while producing a personalised artwork in their own style. They learn basic technical skills like choosing a colour palette, drafting a simple composition plan and how to use the tools of the trade, while breaking down a reference photo or creative vision into shapes, patterns and brush strokes.

With Omi Lee

Crouse 1 commences on July 31st and a second course on 8th October.

The Art of Mastering Still Life

With Linda Marine

Linda promises to take you from a blank page, through the process of rough sketches, transferring your images on to the paper, and bring you work to life through a variety of mediums, such as pastels, watercolour and acrylic paints. These workshops are best suited for emerging artists, who are familiar with the principles of perspective, composition and light ‘n’ shade.  This is a series of five workshops commencing on Friday 3rd July.

With Linda Marine

Fun with Mixed Media

Since her graduation from Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland, Dorota's broad artistic experience involves painting, drawing, graphic design and mixed media. In past years she's practiced teaching a variety of techniques from all these areas to young children, college students and mature artists alike with equal success. In her own work she combines these techniques in what she's most passionate about: children's book illustration. One of her dreams is to illustrate her own stories.

In Dorota’s workshops you will experience the freedom that comes, from not being tied to any particular media.  So come and explore a world of mediums, textures’ and combine them with you own imagination. Dorota’s workshops commence on the 11th September.

With Dorota Lagida-Ostling 

Screen Printing
With Rebecca Lewis

Fresh from designing clothing from Project Ipswich – Animated Spaces, Bec joins us for the final stages of our Community Connections Workshop Program.

If you’d like to continue on with you printmaking experience, jump from the printed page to creating your own designs of materials. Bec loves to create clothing from up-cycled materials or using her printmaking skills to design her own Fabrics. Bec promises a fun time of creativity for beginner to intermediate screen printers.

With Rebecca Lewis 

All participants and tutors are invited to
Showcase their artwork at our
Connections Art Exhibition

Bookings are essential
Office Telephone: (07) 3281 3218
Please advise if Transport and/or Support is needed at
Time of bookings.