Artspace – Community Access Workshops and After School Art Program

Artspace – ‘Community Access Workshops and After School Art Program’


ArtSpace Photo


The Artspace was delighted to be a successful recipient of the Community Foundation’s 2016 Community Grants round, for its ‘Community Access Workshops and After School Art Program’. The Community Foundation has been a major supporter since our establishment two years ago, through a multi-year strategic grant, and we are delighted that this relationship has continued with a more specific focus on community engagement with the Arts through workshops.

The Workshop space @ the Artspace has been in operation for over a year, bringing artists and the community together to share artistic skills, make friends and have fun.  This is one of our three activities @ the Artspace, the other two being the Retail space and our Exhibition space, and we have been delighted with its success.  This element of our activity really does bring in the community, giving them access to the creative skills which lie within the community, but were not previously accessible.  Even better, it has helped people re-engage with their community through the Arts.

The roll out of the program so far (and we are only half way through) has included supporting the following workshops:  a term of Youth Art classes for eight students between 10 – 13 years old taken by Yvette Atkins, as well as four free places in each of the following:  a term of Group Singing with Jane Coker, a series of Crochet classes with Sheryle Doherty and a series of Drawing classes with Kim Probitts.

The Youth Art class brings together a group of enthusiastic 10-13 year olds from our district, who were seeking a chance to explore and develop new artistic skills.  Yvette Atkins is a Mirboo North resident printmaker, painter, photographer and installation work artist, who runs a studio at ARC Yinnar and is a gifted Visual Arts teacher.  She has been exploring a wide range of techniques with her students which will culminate in the students having an Exhibition @ the Artspace commencing on Mother’s Day weekend as part of Mirboo North’s annual Celebration of the Arts.   Another series of Youth Art with Yvette Atkins is due to be advertised shortly and will commence in the middle of May – watch this space.

Artspace Group

Jane Coker’s group singing class has also commenced for Term 2 in our Workshop space.  This singing group has been going for a year and a half and now has ten participants, including the four people who were lucky enough to win the ballot for the free places, supported by the Community Foundation grant.    Meeting weekly on a Wednesday afternoon from 1.30 to 2.30, they sing blues, folk, gospel and more, all straight from the heart.  No experience needed, this friendly group is just the thing if you want to find your voice and take some time for yourself each week. 

A new addition to the workshop calendar at the Artspace is the series of Crochet classes given by Sheryle Doherty.  The series of six started last Wednesday night between 7pm and 8pm, and the students will be learning to make a simple crocheted face-washer each.   Sheryle of Shezware has been selling her beautifully crocheted teddies and toys, booties, blankets, face washers and much much more at the Artspace since its creation, and at the Artisans Store prior to that.  She currently has seven students in her group, including the four winners of the free places, supported by the Community Foundation.  Keep an eye out for the next series which will be coming in term 3.

The final workshop in this Term to benefit from the Community Foundation’s support is a series of Drawing Classes with Kim Probitts.   Kim has been a South Gippsland resident for a couple of years now, having moved back from Tully in Queensland in 2015.  They have recently bought a place in Kardella and she is hoping to set up a gallery and studio at their home.  Kim has taught drawing for many years and is looking forward to teaching simple drawing techniques like shading, texture, perspective and composition.  This series of 4 classes is starting on Thursday the 4th of May, and while the free places have now been allocated, there may be a couple of additional places for interested participants ($80 for 4 x 2 hour classes). 

Many thanks to the Community Foundation for the grant assistance to give free access to our local community to these varied and interesting artistic workshops.  Next time we hope to bring you the thoughts of some of our participants on what they have learned and what it has meant to them.  For further information or booking enquiries, please send an email to or call Kate on 0428 827 655.

Artspace Crochet