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WHEN ART MEETS ECOSYSTEM

By | Art, Lifestyle

WHEN ART MEETS ECOSYSTEM

The beginning of the new year at Art Mania brings along with it some exciting news for our kids and teens. We have established a new class which will take place at the Hunter Wetlands Centre. This 8 week kids program combines the amazing natural world of fauna and flora with the incredible wellbeing and expression that art provides!

This partnership between Art Mania Studio and the Hunter Wetlands is a unique opportunity that has been brought into fruition by local artist and teens teacher, Ashlee Jedrzejak.

The classes will focus on the calming and relaxing aura of the wetlands, and how to use art as a mindfulness activity. Classes will focus on students slowing down and really enjoying the creative process.

Art is a harmony parallel with nature. – Paul Cezanne

Our teachers will encourage students to use the Wetlands vibrant ecosystem as a source of inspiration. They will then assist in turning this inspiration into a resolved piece of art. Students will experiment with a range of mediums and materials, giving them the opportunity to express themselves in many different forms.

As a haven for wildlife (and people), the wetlands are a vibrant ecosystem bursting with life. This thriving wildlife sanctuary allows the community to get close to nature and we at Art Mania Studio cannot wait to get our senses delighted by all the beauty the exploration of this special place will offer. 

 

KIDS ART SCHOOL AT HUNTER WETLANDS

8-WEEK BLOCK / SATURDAY starts 15 FEBRUARY / 9 – 10:30AM

The cost for the entire eight weeks is $265. Creative Kids vouchers are also redeemable through Art Mania Studio, and can be used to subsidise costs.

  • Teens After School – Wed & Thu – start 5, 6 FEB – (Full price $330) DEPOSIT PRICE

    $100.00
  • Kids After School – Tue, Wed & Thu – start 4, 5, 6 FEB – (Full price $330) DEPOSIT PRICE

    $100.00
  • Kids Art School at Hunter Wetlands – Saturdays – starts 15 Feb – (Full price $265) DEPOSIT PRICE

    $100.00

HOW DOES LOVE SHAPE YOU?

By | Art

What is love?

Can it be defined?

How does it shape us, create us and steer us?

If we look at love too closely it can sometimes feel like it will disappear, so we keep it just in the corners of our vision and we feel safe knowing it still exists in its shapeshifting way.

When we think it’s gone, we can crumble into a heap and question the very fabric of existence. 

If we brave looking into the heart of the flame of love it can be so overwhelming that it threatens to tumble us in its crashing waves and drown us in its intensity.

Quite simply, love makes the world go round.

It fuels our desires, it propels our passions and it makes us stand up for what we believe in.

Gary Chapman used his many years as a counsellor to communicate to over 11 million people in his book The Five Love Languages, that we all connect to one or more of these love languages. Understanding yours and others can help to improve relationships with partners, family members and friends.

When I took the love language quiz I was interested to find that Acts of Service, Quality Time and Physical Touch all ranked as equal first, with Words of Affirmation a close second. Funnily enough Receiving Gifts was a low scoring last. It made me reflect on Christmas time and the gift giving frenzy that whips us up into consumerist hogs. I never wanted to buy into it, theoretically or physically.

I would always make presents. I’d spend hours crafting something with my hands for the special people in my life and it made me feel good. Now I recognise that it tapped into all 3 of my top love languages.

Acts of Service –
I took the time to create something special for someone.

Quality Time –
that time was focused, with my energy invested into the creation.

Physical Touch –
By creating things with my hands I was imbuing my love and energy into the piece.

It’s nice when something that you have always done finds a deeper space of understanding.

The upcoming workshop, Introduction to the Pottery Wheel (timed for Valentines Day) feels close to my heart. Creating with clay tickles my love languages and with the endless artistic avenues that pottery provides, it finds its way into most people‘s hearts and languages. Valentine’s Day can feel very Americanised and consumerism driven, however if we take out the ‘should’ and come back to the essence of what this day is about, it’s all about love, and love is a natural state and that feels right.

How do you express love? 

How do the people in your life receive love?

Can you make this Valentines, a day to find that out and communicate in a new way?

For those that love to express through creativity, through acts of service, quality time or physical touch, check out the pottery workshop, it could be a great occasion to share with someone you love or a great way to make something special for that special someone.

Remember:

Love is like water.

You can fall in it,

You can drown in it,

But, you can’t live without it.

Written by Jen Majenta Moon, Art Mania Team Member

5 REASONS WHY ART GIVES TEENS THE LIFE SKILLS THEY NEED

By | Art

We all know that being creative has a certain essence about it that makes us feel good, right?

And, by saying ‘being creative’ it doesn’t mean creating a masterpiece on a canvas that is intended for an art gallery. 

So why does it feel good and seem to affect so many other areas of life?

Creativity is a human trait. We are a species born to create. From meals, to buildings, to babies, to packing a lunch box. Creativity must be fostered, it needs encouragement and room to grow whilst still having limitations to exist within. 

For young people that have a higher than average exposure to creating art and the media for creating it, possess qualities that many others do not have. Exposure to art, ripples out to many other areas of learning and life. 

1. EXPRESS YOURSELF

As children develop, they move from the outward stage of exploration and finding identity to one of social integration and figuring out where they fit in the world. Many experience an internalisation of their true expression as the desire to ‘fit in’ and ‘be normal’ in this hyper-stimulated world dulls their externalisation of self. By expressing oneself on a physical medium, teens find a voice that may otherwise have never been accessed. Language is only one way ideas can be expressed, all youth need to build skills in other avenues to convey what they may be struggling to express in words.

 

2. FINDING SELF CONTROL

We’ve all had moments where we feel like life is out of control. For teens this can be a constant state and as they try to harness control of their life. Artistic engagement stimulates the mind and when they create something, they can call it their own. Overcoming problems in other areas of life becomes easier as they regain the sense of self-determination creating something physical.

 

3. PROGRESS IS POSSIBLE

When we see our improvement as we refine a skill, the sense of achievement is tangible. Youth increase in confidence when their talents begin to improve, such as with drawing, building, painting and designing. When teens see progress and change in something they have persisted at, it offers a reflection, illustrating that all things can get better with time and effort.

4. INSTANT V’S DELAYED GRATIFICATION

It can be hard when we’re young to truly grasp the notion of doing something now for later benefit. Most Teens want instant gratification and an instant result that is tangible. Art offers both. Creating something positive and worthwhile is an instant and tangible result. Being able to look at a beautiful creation over time, allows them to reflect on how they were feeling when they created it. They can see how the passage of time changes things, they also see their own capacity to create something real and lasting which adds to their sense of self.

5. SKILLS FOR LIFE

Every step we take teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. When our journey is guided by the freedom and boundaries art allows it offers a platform to develop skills that will be applicable to every area of life. The process of creating art is a healthy way to develop skills in making choices and solving problems, something we are all faced with each and every day. From a simple choice of which colour to use, where to draw a line, what size to make something, each choice makes something more their own. Art goes beyond, as through the process of creation, until that point, it was only in the imagination. They have the capacity to bring something to life that previously didn’t exist.    

 

Art Mania Studio’s Teens After School Development Program fosters not only artistic skills in the group, it also offers social, communicative and self-expression skills that will equip them for life.

 

WE HAVE A COUPLE OF SPOTS LEFT FOR OUR TERM 1 PROGRAM – for more details click here

 

Written by Jen Majenta Moon, Art Mania Team Member

WHICH SPEAKS LOUDER – WORDS or ART?

By | Art

What’s a really unique way to say ‘I love you’ this Christmas?

They say a picture says a thousand words, well, we think an artwork is the gift that keeps on giving. Emotions, energy, feeling and expression all emanate from art and all are individually interpreted.

Colours, textures, shape and size all contribute to how people react to art, inspiring a response that can awaken, motivate, captivate and relax.

When you purchase a piece of art, it is so much more than just the item itself. It carries an energy and intention, plus all the years that the artist has poured into creativity, allowing them to birth this particular piece, that has resonated with you.

Art is almost wordless, it conjures something beyond what words can capture. It allows you to communicate an essence of emotion for the one you love and will allow them to receive it on a level like no other.

When something beautiful is handmade it carries a deeper significance than the myriad of mass-produced products now available worldwide. It has someone’s time, energy and soul within it. It’s unique, just as your relationship with the world and that special someone is.

The artwork that graces the gallery here at Art Mania Studio is a mix of visually stunning feature pieces such as resin artworks in different shapes and sizes; glass artwork designs; alcohol ink framed works; hanging mosaic works and much more. However, what I love is the huge amount of FUNCTIONAL art available for sale. They have a wonderful eclectic range of cups; canisters; bowls; chopping boards; jewellery; wine glasses; coaster sets; coffee tables; wind chimes; candle holders; plant holders; serving platters and even steak knife sets and pegs, all uniquely adorned with a variety of art mediums.

When that special someone doesn’t just need another ‘thing’, get them something they will actually use. Make it beautiful, unique and something they will cherish. Every time they use it they will think of you, and your job, in saying ‘I love you’ in a unique way, is done.  

The studio remains open until Dec 20th and all gallery items are 30% off. Come in and browse the extensive range and whilst you’re in check out the growing range of art tools and materials that Art Mania Studio is starting to stock.

 

Written by Jen Majenta Moon, Art Mania Team Member

What makes Art Mania’s open nights so important?

By | Art

Art Mania holds four open nights each year. They are held toward the end of each school term. They give you a chance to check-out the studio, meet the staff and other students over a glass of wine. A chance to ask all those questions you have always been curious to find the answers to about the world of art and its creation. Have you been longing to one day take a pottery class or learn how to make wind chimes, take that painting class, but always thought it wasn’t possible because you aren’t creative enough. Or you just don’t have the time. Well, come along to the open night and talk to people who can help you make your wishes come true.

You will see demonstrations of the various block and weekly classes Art Mania offers. Talk to the staff who will teach these classes and find out just how the classes work and how pieces are created. Talk to other students of Art Mania who have taken that step you long to take. If you do, you will learn that you won’t be alone with your fear of failure. That art Mania is a place where you will be welcomed, guided and supported through your chosen workshop or weekly class. Not only from Art Mania’s teacher’s and fellow students bouncing ideas off one another and sharing their own experience but by letting your creative mind relax and leave your worries at the door. The joy and welbing you will gain by joining the Art Mania family both for yourself and the sense of achievement you will gain. A  few hours of art a week is enough to keep your mind health, After all, your mind is just as important as your  physical fitness.

Every open night gives you the opportunity to see what workshops will be offered in the term ahead. This could be in a medium new to the studio. Or it could be specialising in a particular area of an art form, like mosaicking with crockery, or cutting glass and shaping it to make wind chimes. You can even learn how to paint with powdered glass. You will be able to find out just what is coming up.

If you are a new student you get to see the classes the studio offers. The range and see the skills you will learn to complete your piece or pieces. If you are a returning student, you have the chance to find out what new workshops you can take. And believe me, the only thing you will have to worry about is what class will you do first. Or how you will fit everything you want to try into your week. Art can be very addictive. The pleasure of working with your hands feeling and /or seeing the work taking shape and form. Giving into the pleasure of the moment and knowing you are completely focused in the present.

So don’t put it off. Go onto the Art Mania website and browse what is coming up next at the studio. And book yourself into the open night and see what we do here at Art Mania. Everyone is welcome, be they old or young, Male or female. Inclusion is an important element of the Art Mania philosophy. So come in, we can’t wait to meet you and welcome you into the Art Mania family.

Top 5 points why one should do a pottery course with Art Mania Studio!

By | Art, Lifestyle

Top 5 points why one should do a pottery course with Art Mania Studio!

 

Something that comes from the earth, tactile, resulting in engaging in the creative brain which can be described as relaxing and therapeutic at the same time! When we work with clay, through hand-building or spinning clay on a wheel, our mind and body are in a state of synergy while being focused on the tactile process: the touch and the feel of soft clay between our fingers. 

The perfect mindfulness process to creating a door for your outside worries to fall away.

 

1. An outlet for ‘Self’ 

We all need an out from time to time! Too often than not, everyday life gets in the way of allowing us regular weekly time out to truly do something for ones’ self! There is a plethora of documented statistics, evidence based which demonstrate the importance for both physical and mental wellbeing, by engaging the creative brain. Pottery offers you an outlet for self!

2. The Brain’s Pleasure Centre

The brain produces many natural chemicals, dopamine is just one.  Dopamine affects your emotions, movements and your sensations of pleasure and pain. When our sensors kick in with the tactile processes or  hand-building with clay or working on a pottery wheel… BINGO! The brains receptors kick in and you start to feel good, hence the term ‘Pleasure Centre’!

3. Improve focus

When the pleasure centre kicks in while working with clay or on a Pottery wheel, you will notice improvements in areas including: flow and spontaneity, reduction in grief related thoughts; assists with self-identification and self-expression while also bolstering confidence and self-esteem. Being able to fully focus with the combination of hand and brain engagement assist the mind in coping with everyday life.

4. Reduces stress

 Our hands can be the answer to the reduction in stress, depression and anxiety! The importance of touch opens the flood gates to the pleasure centre.  Think about it…! Our hands can be the perfect outlet for creativity and focus; therefore outside distractions and influences are reduced to allow you time for ‘self’.

5. Helps reduce pain and discomfort

The movement of working with clay and creating on the pottery wheel is gentle yet strengthening to the hands, wrists, and arms. This can be beneficial to those prone to arthritis in the hands, as it promotes joint movement and dexterity. It’s common knowledge ‘stress’ can lead to feeling sensations of pain and discomfort. Creative hobbies – pottery is known for reducing stress and boosting self-esteem! It’s the natural chemical released in the brain which alleviates pain receptors while working with clay!

So tap into your pleasure centre, and get your clay on at Art Mania Studio’s fantastic welcoming studio space!

UPCOMING POTTERY CLASSES

  • Pottery – 4 week block – multiple dates – (Full Price $260) DEPOSIT PRICE

    $100.00

Just BecCause Fundraiser

By | Art, Fundraiser

“Bec was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer at the age of 14. She endured many hours days and weeks in hospital having chemo treatment. Bec had an inspiring sense of humour.  She rarely complained and kept on smiling through the pain and sickness. Bec smile was infectious! You couldn’t help but smile along with her.

After having a good response to the first year of treatment, Bec went onto maintenance treatment,  which meant she continue her treatment at home, less time in hospital and could start to resume some what of a normal life.  She started to attend school again, went to the movies and hung out with friends again. Her hair started to grow back and she felt much better. 4 weeks prior to completing her treatment, Bec relapsed.

Bec would relapse for a second time, being deemed incurable. Bec had a big heart and wanted to help other kids beat the fight with cancer. In 2017, she started a fund raiser she called “Just BecCause “.
Bec had an artistic sole. She loved to draw and paint. She was good at it, so when Fee from Art Mania Studio approached her to do an resin art piece to auction at her fund raiser, well Bec jumped at it!

Art Mania Studio generously, donated time, supplies and lots of fun energy to Bec and her cause.
She raised $10,000, $1,000 of that from the auction of her special art piece,  for research into finding a cure for kids cancer. Bec added this money to a crowd funder she headed raising an amazing $38,000.

Heartbreakingly, my beautiful Bec earnt her wings in December last year after a  three and half year courageous fight. One of Becs last wishes was for us to continue with her legacy and hold another “Just BecCause ” this year. She wanted to raise money for the John Hunter Children’s Hospital. Becs way of saying thank you to the staff that became family and supported and cared for her. And to help the kids fighting their own battle with cancer.

Art Mania Studio still remain one of “Just BecCause ” biggest supporters, this year agreeing to go one, two, three, four steps ahead.  Fee has again generously donated her time, expertise and fun spirit. We have 4 amazing young adults that have agreed to come together with Fee to create not 1, but 4 beautiful resin art pieces, in memory of Bec, to auction. I cannot tell you how very grateful I am to Fee, and these four superheros to step up and support Becs cause!”

Bec’s Mum

Just BECause is an event that is close to our hearts here at Art Mania Studio.

We’ve been doing all we can to help Just BECause raise funds for the John Hunter Children’s Hospital. This year’s special event will have Raffles, Auctions, Stalls & Shaves, all to fundraise for the fight against Children’s Cancer.

For more info & updates join our Facebook event

We’d love to see you there!

Sunday 28th July 2019, start 11am
Colliery Inn
87 Cowper St, Wallsend

Why enrol your child at Art Mania?

By | Art, Lifestyle

Creative Kids Voucher

Do you remember the look of pride and joy in your child’s eyes when you put their first piece of artwork onto the fridge? Remember the sounds of excitement and enthusiasm as texta’s or pencils scattered across the kitchen table as they decided to start their next creative project?

Recapture that excitement and pride by taking advantage of the $100 Creative Kids vouchers! Kids are taken on the most amazing journey over a term here at Art Mania Studio, they visibly blossom as their skills improve and their perspective on what’s possible widens.

Creativity is a foundational key to life. Kids shine and the ripple effect can be seen across every area of their life.

Art Mania Studio offers their After School Development Program for kids (age 5-12) and teens (age 13-18), to make sure that every child who wants to get creative, can! Wednesdays and Thursdays 4-5:30pm for 10 weeks of term is when it’s on! Weekdays no good for your family? The Krafty Kids Sat morning class also runs for the 10 weeks of term and gives an equal opportunity for growth and creative expression. These classes are a fantastic way for your child to delve into the creative world, and explore a variety of methods and techniques each week.

As parents and caregivers, there are a million different activities you can register your child for. So why should you choose to enrol your child at Art Mania?

  • Creativity is for every child (and adult!). It isn’t about having a special inclination towards being artistic; it’s not about how talented you are; it’s not even about whether or not you like your own work. Skills and techniques can be learned (just like riding a bike!), under the guidance of our wonderful tutors. Being creative has its own benefits – benefits that are just as important as those your child might get from team sports or similar.
  • Did you know that encouraging creativity in children encourages concentration, critical thinking and problem solving? Our classes engage participants in receiving and giving feedback – an essential social skill. Also, being creative helps your child learn to express themselves in different ways – this is a particular benefit for teens and preteens!

One thing that is so important is helping your child find their niche in life. The way of the world is changing and learning to use different parts of the brain will help your child in managing the demands of living in contemporary society and finding creative solutions to what life throws at them.

Our after school and weekend programs at Art Mania are a safe, fun space for your child or teen to really experience the world of art. They’ll explore different techniques and artists each week, with practical experience at the heart of each session.

Every child deserves the gift of creativity and expression.

APPLY FOR A CREATIVE KIDS VOUCHER

AVAILABLE KIDS & TEEN CLASSES

Creative Kids Voucher

By | Art, Lifestyle

Creative Kids Voucher

We’ve got some fantastic news – we are now a registered provider of the NSW Government’s Creative Kids rebate offers! These rebates give you $100 towards your school-aged child participating in our awesome kid’s art programs!

Parents and Carers can apply for a Creative Kids voucher through their MyServiceNSW account (you will need to log in or register) link here. You get one voucher worth $100 per school-aged child, and there’s no need to print the voucher after you have applied for it – all we need is the voucher number, expiry date, and your child’s name and date of birth.

From there, your child will be ready to enter an amazing world of creativity!

What do our Kid’s Art Programs offer? Your child will have the opportunity to express themselves in new and exciting ways, experiment with a whole smorgasbord of art mediums, but most of all, have FUN! To date we’ve experimented with painting, drawing, clay work, basket weaving – students have even created selfies – self-portraits away from the screens!

Kids need regular opportunities to work out their creative intelligence: it gives them a chance to make choices, express themselves, be creative (applying techniques in new and unusual ways), and to gain confidence in the process of creativity, rather than focusing on the finished product. These things are so important for kids of all ages, so that they can really hone not only their sense of self but also their ability to make choices. This program also helps kids who may not excel in traditional after school activities such as sport: we give them a chance to find something they can excel at, and spark a lifelong passion for creativity.

We’re running special Creative Kids classes for term 2, for new participants. If your child is already enrolled in our exciting kid’s art program, they can continue in their regular time slot. For new participants, we are opening two special classes for you to choose from.

Wednesday afternoons, 4pm – 5:30pm (two classes: one for primary and one for high school)

Saturday mornings, 10am – 11:30am (one class, with all ages learning together)

Both of these classes run for ten weeks, and the total cost is $300. For that, your child receives expert tuition, all gear required, new friends, time to explore, the chance to learn creative skills and the chance to explore art theory (this is always incorporated into practical and fun activities!).

With your voucher, you will get all this for $200! Awesome!

APPLY FOR A CREATIVE KIDS VOUCHER

AVAILABLE KIDS & TEEN CLASSES

Mosaics & Bling

By | Art, Lifestyle

Mosaics & Bling

Mosaics is an ancient art form that dates back to 3000 B.C. and beyond – yet mosaics are still just a popular, if not more so, in the creative arts arena today.

As a lover of texture, colour and bling, Art Mania Studio has so many options to take this art form further than where we’ve gone before with Mosaics…

Does the word Mosaics make you think of chopped up tiles?

Yes, most of us do.

It is only when we are exposed to the many creative options available in the world of mosaics, it then tweaks interest.  For many of us, we don’t feel we are creative or artistic in any way, however this is merely a confidence barrier. Most art or creative options are ‘learned techniques’, similar to that of learning to drive a car, or cooking!  Yes some of us are gifted and have the vision that makes it somewhat easier, however with instruction it is achievable for anyone to embark on the creative journey.

So, as we embark on our latest mosaic course, tiles are certainly one of the first things we look at, however it doesn’t end there! We call this class ‘Mosaics and Bling’ purely because we use so many different options to make our mosaic art work come to life, creating that WOW factor.

How good does it feel when you make something you love?

What does it do for you, the individual? A sense of pride and achievement!

Once the initial hurdle of making your first project has been  completed, the urge to move onto the next challenge is fueled by the self-satisfying feeling being creative offers. Taking a chance on the unknown and not only doing well, but making something beautiful, gets the happy endorphins kicking in and there is no stopping you! The way you look at everything changes…– ‘wow, I could mosaic that’… and that is really how it all begins.

A favourite reference material is a book by Tracy Graiver Bell called ‘Crazy Mosaics’, which transforms shattered treasures into inspired creations. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, however it demonstrates a number of options in the mosaic arena that really inspire.  I especially like the recycled options, given the disposable world we live in today. The thing about most creative adventures is they are continually evolving, coming in and out of vogue, and the next new extension of how you can push the traditional or contemporary boundaries is what makes it exciting!

I’ve been teaching mosaics for over 20 years now, and it never ceases to amaze me how addictive the creative endorphins are!

So, tiles are generally first on the agenda for newbies, however in our studio there are many completed mosaics to offer inspiration.  Throughout the course we look at beautiful coloured stained glass inclusions, recycled jewellery, mirror, crockery, fused glass petals and leaves, buttons and other blingy bits to add spark and a point of interest into the artwork.

We also look at different options for project bases, metal shovels, totem poles, types of woods and how to prepare them, grouting options and sealing. We can continue down the rabbit hole and explore different techniques, such as micro-mosaics and using a huge range of resources to bring texture, colour and life to just about anything you can think of.

Mosaics may be an ancient art form, but here at Art Mania Studio we give it a new lease on life, with lots of fun, laughter and imagination along the way.

AVAILABLE MOSAICS CLASSES