Building skills and connection through art mentoring
Logan artists Rachael Lee and Kelly Lindsay instantly hit it off when they met.
Kelly was seeking to buy a printing press and wanted to get some tips from fellow artist Rachael.
Now, thanks to a Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant, Rachael is mentoring Kelly in a 12-month program. The RADF is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Logan City Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland,
The aim of Rachael and Kelly’s funding is to increase connection between local artists, and upskill art teacher Kelly so she can pass on her new skills and perspectives to her students.
For Rachael, the sessions are a knowledge exchange.
‘I just like sharing knowledge and talking to other artists who have different ways of thinking than what I might have,’ she says.
‘When we met, I suggested Kelly apply for a grant for some sessions so that I could spend time showing her more printmaking methods. She wants to teach in Logan so I can help connect her with the art community here.’
Kelly, a Logan local, currently teaches in other areas but says she loves the art community in Logan and can’t wait to be part of it.
‘I need to come back to my home base, which is the arts community in Logan,’ she says.
‘There are a lot of us and we do use social media to stay connected and go to exhibitions but it’s that real getting together in studios and supporting each other that is the best.’
Kelly says the mentoring sessions with Rachael will allow her to teach new methods in her classes and expand the number of people she teaches.
‘The RADF grant is a skills development grant, which I never knew existed, but it is excellent because it means I can expand my skill level. I can then provide inclusive affordable workshops sharing those skills, so the grant pays it forward,’ she says.
‘I don’t know how else I would have done this without the grant. This makes it affordable for me, and the grant also pays for equipment and materials as well as the sessions. I give a lot as a teacher so it is great to have that support reciprocated; it helps me as a learner again, and I can give that to my students, the community.
‘It’s a great opportunity to learn from Rachael. She’s amazing, and even though I have experience in print making, she is more cutting edge in terms of technical skills, and she pushes boundaries. I’m hoping she can help me do that too.’
Rachael is also looking forward to the year ahead.
‘It’s going to be a fun year working together,’ she says.
‘I am an experimental printmaker; I am not precise in the traditional way. I like the whole process of printmaking, making up the plates and having an idea of the end product but being open to that changing throughout. A memorable quote I often think of is from Brett Whiteley who said, “The moment you know what you’re doing, its not art, its illustration” – that really resonates with me.
‘I also love the community aspect of printmaking. You are working on a big, expensive piece of equipment which not many people have in their homes, so generally you will be using it communally and sharing with other artists.’
While Rachael regularly exhibits her work, and has been since 2007, she has also run workshops and says sharing knowledge is something she enjoys and is hoping to do more.