Art + schools = success

Author: Alex Grace, Communications and Relationships Manager

We know that students in Te Awakairangi Lower Hutt, are growing up in an exponentially changing world. They will do jobs that don’t exist yet and face challenges no other generation has imagined.

We also know the strong history of innovation and creativity in education in Te Awakairangi Lower Hutt. This is why our exhibition Scribble + Sculpt shares the story of Wellington artist and educator Doreen Blumhardt (1914-2009) and the pioneering teachers who led the way for educational reform. The Dowse’s educators followed in Doreen’s footsteps and have been working in our community with Waterloo School (where Doreen initiated her Arts in Schools project) and Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School.

The Dowse Art Museum Director, Courtney Johnston said, “As an art museum we are uniquely placed to recognise the value of creative learning in a changing world.

“Inspired by Doreen and the work of local teachers, our education team wanted to deepen their local connections and spend real time in schools collaborating with teachers. In October they left the museum and worked with Waterloo and Raphael House Rudolf Steiner schools where they shared their creative expertise and resources with the teachers and students of Te Awakairangi Lower Hutt ,and celebrated creativity at the heart of learning.

As a result of all this hard work we have delightful and experimental art from Waterloo School on display in Scribble + Sculpt, alongside the work by renowned potter Doreen Blumhardt and other pioneering artist educators associated with the Northern Māori Project, including Sandy Adsett, John Bevan Ford, Ralph Hotere, Selwyn Muru, Marilyn Webb and Cliff Whiting.”

Principal of Waterloo School, Warren Owen said, “Waterloo School has been at the forefront of educational innovation since the days of Doreen Blumhardt. We are proud to continue in that tradition as we teach our students skills that help them explore the world with creativity and curiosity.”

When asked about the project Waterloo students said, “I thought using the different materials to make things was awesome.” “I loved how we got materials like flax from nature to make things.” “The art was such cool fun and I liked what I made.”

Gabrielle Edmonds, teacher at Rudolf Steiner School said, “Our students are recognised as developing artists and we strive to identify all creative achievement and endeavour. The students reflect the innovation of contemporary times by communicating information and ideas, promoting enquiry and following curiosity. This is their artistic journey of personal expression towards individual growth and creativity.”

Details of Project

  • Scribble + Sculpt runs until 11 February 2018
  • The Dowse education team is working with Waterloo School and Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School initially
  • The Dowse education team is also working with an intern from Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School to curate the students ‘works in the show
  • The Dowse education team is sharing their expertise with, and is learning from the schools they are involved with. It is a collaborative process.
  • Student artworks will be on display throughout the exhibition.

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