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Whitsundays Arts Festival Workshops

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IT’S TIME to get ‘artsy’ with the Whitsundays Arts Festival!

The festival has just released the full art workshop program for the week of September 17 to 25.

Many of the workshops explore the festival theme ‘Memories’ and others are just for fun.

Get involved, as the 2022 artists-in-residence take participants through a series of free and ticketed workshops designed to enjoy, learn, develop skills, network with your community of fellow artists, and collaborate on large art installations, while you create an art piece to take home.

The professional series will be held from September 17 to 24 in the workshop space at Kipara Tropical Rainforest Retreat and, from September 24 to 25, at the festival site in Fairy Tree Park, on the Airlie Beach foreshore.

“We have a great variety of workshops planned this year,” workshop co-ordinator and Townsville artist and art teacher Sandy Guy said.

“Due to the popularity of previous year’s workshops and increasing demand we will be expanding to a full week of fun and creative opportunities for the whole community of the Whitsundays.”

Coming alive

Artists-in-residence Michael Pope and Aaron Ashley, co-creators of ‘Scarewood’ – winner of the People’s Choice Award at Townsville’s popular seaside sculpture exhibition, Ephemera – will recreate their winning piece in the majestic old fig, in Fairy Tree Park.

‘Scarewood’ will come alive at sunset with projections and vocalisations.

Michael and Aaron will also be hosting Urban Sketching workshops at the festival site.

Internationally renowned artist Michael Pope is co-founder of the Townsville chapter of Urban Sketchers and is inviting interested creatives of any artistic level to join him and Aaron, on the Airlie Beach foreshore, on Saturday, September 24, and Sunday, September 25.

Urban Sketching is an international drawing movement used to document the goings on and essence of a particular place.

These morning workshops will take participants through ‘en plein air’ sketching, exploring how to select a scene and then quickly capture the essence using shapes as reference and adding details and tone.

Explore new ways

At the Kipara Tropical Rainforest Retreat, Jubilee Pocket, in the week leading up to the festival festivities, Lisa Ashcroft will take you on an exploration of new ways of working with watercolours and acrylics.

Lisa Ashcroft is last year’s art exhibition winner.

Or tap into your inner street artist and explore street art techniques with Townsville artist and art teacher Sandra Guy.

Create your own book

One of the most popular workshops last year was Creating Children’s Books with publisher, illustrator, and children’s books author Sofia Fortunato.

Sofia will be back this year to help transform your memories into storybook characters and create your own book for children.

This is the perfect workshop for anyone interested in taking their bedtime story-telling techniques to the next level.

Sip and paint

This year will also include our first-ever ‘Sip and Paint’ workshop with Amanda Sadler, who will lead participants through Frida Khalo-esque painting techniques, all while sipping on your favourite drinks!

As well as this professional series program, there are free workshops assisting visiting artists to produce exciting art installations that will be transforming the festival site into an outdoor art spectacular, on Saturday 24 September.

Free workshops

These workshops include stingrays made from rope and recycled materials with Marion Gaemers and Lynnette Griffiths, and painted memory boards with Amanda Sadler.

Recently, WAF hosted the first free workshops for the 2022 program, weaving large stingrays with artists Marion Gaemers and Lynnette Griffiths, which will be part of the ‘Soaring Stingrays’ installation suspended above the festival site, in September.

Workshop attendees learnt how to weave, stitch, and create intricate designs from recycled rope and fishing netting gathered from around the reef by Eco Barge Clean Seas. See photos.

The 2022 art workshop program is an exciting and interactive element of the Whitsundays Arts Festival, built on the vision of bringing art to everyone, and the opportunity to immerse yourself in creativity.

Whether it be weaving, painting, stitching, storytelling, illustration or sketching, explore your artistic potential this year with some of Queensland’s finest artists.

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