Lismore's new creative art venture, SeeSpace has kicked off its summer arts program and invites everyone to take part and get inspired. Located behind the Lismore Library, SeeSpace is a partnership between Lismore Council and RealArtWorks. Artistic director Zeb Schulz has been working in the arts with people with a disability for over 12 years and wants to encourage any local artists, regardless of their background, to come and exhibit in the space.
"As well as having ongoing exhibitions we want to hold visual arts, media and screen- printing workshops," Zeb said. "We want to give people the opportunity to explore their individual creative pathways and encourage them to come along and make something."
Zeb also encourages people to create and facilitate their own workshops at the space and can help people apply for funding and grants for new creative projects.
Next week, an eight- week workshop program will commence and people are invited to come along and try the first workshop for free. On Monday, February 6, general arts workshops will be held from 9.30-11.30am; and from 12.30-2.30pm, screen printing and street art workshops will be held, where people can make stickers, zines and screen-print t-shirts. On Friday mornings, from 9.30-11.30am, creative writing workshops will be held where people can learn how to write for film, digital storytelling or other creative projects. The workshops include all materials and cost structure is based on a sliding scale, from $15-$25 per session.
One of the projects being developed at SeeSpace is 'The Bridge' where professional musicians and musicians identifying as having a disability collaborate to create a unique musical show. The idea for the collaboration came to Zeb after members of RealArtWorks went to Poland in 2011 and conducted screen- printing workshops at the Unsound Festival. Zeb also presented at a Polish conference where he discussed the importance of creating artistic programs for artists with a disability.
"In some European countries such as the Ukraine, people with a disability are often still institutionalised or on the streets," Zeb said. "I'd like to get people who may have not engaged with music or art before involved in performance. The work we do with people with disabilities is capable of flicking switches on in people's brains and ultimately, creating social change. Engaging with creativity makes happier people and creating a space like SeeSpace can also do that."
Later this year, Zeb hopes to take the group of musicians involved in 'The Bridge' project to Poland where they will perform their unique show and also conduct workshops with other people with a disability to create a community show.
"This project is as much about human rights as the music and the band are hoping to evoke the support of local businesses and the wider community," Zeb said.
To meet the cost of the trip, a fundraiser and open day will be held this Saturday, February 4, from 12-4pm at SeeSpace. There will be clothes stalls and people can make donations and take part in screen-printing funky designs, create art and listen to live music performed by The Bridge as well as talk to the people involved in SeeSpace.
"The community feedback has been very positive," Zeb said. "The space has attracted many people of different ages and levels of experience and all with a desire to create art and share ideas. There is lots happening here at the moment and anyone with a passion for creativity is welcome to come join in."
For more information, to book your place at a SeeSpace workshop or to offer donations to The Bridge project, phone Zeb on 0431 734 732.
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