Mandy Reichelt-Brushett with students from Clunes Community Preschool.
Mandy Reichelt-Brushett with students from Clunes Community Preschool.

Sky's the limit for little artists

Some of the region’s top visual artists have volunteered their time to be artists in residence at the Clunes Community Preschool.

Artists involved include Katka Adams, Deb Arthur, Steven Giese and Mandy Reichelt-Brushett.

The project was initiated by Skye Lawrence, who works at the preschool and is also doing a Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood through Charles Sturt University. The artists introduced different artistic techniques to the children.

Skye said she wanted to see if children would use the new techniques they learned to communicate their ideas, experiences and emotions. And the answer seems to be “yes”.

Skye said that other kids at the preschool were picking up some of the techniques by copying what others were doing, even if they hadn’t been involved in the initial group working with the artist.

“I’ve always enjoyed art and am interested in the way children learn. The project gives me the opportunity to combine these interests,” she said.

On the day The Echo visited, Mandy Reichelt-Brushett (who also teaches science at SCU) was exploring the different effects you can get with different tools. She gave the kids different size brushes to try out, with everything from a large house painting brush to a toothbrush.

Clunes Preschool director Melinda Gambley said Skye’s research project had been a natural extension of the art program they were running and it was great to bring other people in to share their skills.

“One of the outcomes for children under the new Early Years Learning Framework is for them to become effective communicators. Literacy is key to this, and in the early years, we see the arts as a valuable means of communicating with others. We are so fortunate to have all of these amazing artists living in our community who are willing to share their knowledge and passion with the children, and all of the teaching staff here are just as excited as the children,” she said. “With a bit of guidance, we have seen some great results.”


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