As the sun set on Ogden Street in the city centre of Townsville, the lights began to glow outside Umbrella Art Studio for an art exhibition unlike most.
In the spirit of National Youth Week, the exhibition highlighted art from none other than the local youth of Townsville. Attendees of the workshop “Print Out Paste Up” for the last five Saturdays were celebrated by family, friends, and other local artists, and congratulated on the hard work they had put into what was for most, the first art exhibition they had been a part of.
One such artist, Ingrid, who has been drawing and doing art for as long as she can remember, couldn’t help but smile when talking about the workshop. “It was fun to meet other people my age and to do art together,” she beamed. Ingrid explained about her piece that, “it’s the dragon of a character who didn’t know who he was… When he finally realised who he was, he was free. I think the confusion faced by a lot of teenagers is similar to his struggle to figure out who he was and his place in the world.”
Another artist, Tracy, described her piece as a representation for how people tend to react to the world around them. She observed, “they speak their mind without really thinking through or processing before they do.”
For these youth, art isn’t just something to do; through their art, the want to challenge others around them, inspire creativity and change, and make an impact in the world.
Workshop coordinators Vicki Sailsbury, Hannah Murray, and YWAM Townsville’s Fiona Saxby, were completely delighted to be presenting the art. “The most valuable aspect of the workshop was that youth from different schools could come together with like-minded youth,” Hannah said.
“They completely exceeded my expectations not only in artistic ability, but in work ethic as well,” Vicki commented. “The focus was not only art, but to develop professionalism in young people by upskilling them. They embraced it and were very serious about it, and very committed.”
Both the youth and workshop coordinators alike are hopeful for a continuation of workshops like ‘Print Out Paste Up’ and are excited to see what other opportunities can be planned for the young artists of Townsville!