Koorie Youth Art Day: A Day of connecting young creatives.

Bringing culture, creativity, and community together, this week, the City of Greater Bendigo engaged First Nations students from Weeroona and Eaglehawk Secondary College in the very first Youth Koorie Art Day!

A day dedicated to immersing young First Nations students in local galleries and public art spaces, whilst connecting them with local First Nations artists, and providing opportunities to explore creative pathways within Greater Bendigo.

The day commenced at the First Nations Art Gallery, Djaa Djuwima, with a yarning session led by Bendigo Art Gallery’s First Nations Art Curator and First Nations Learning Officers, Lorraine and Annie Brigdale, alongside award-winning First Nations artist Trina Dalton-Oogjes, and Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-operatives’ graphic designer Jacob Fitzpatrick, sharing insights into their art, processes, and creative journeys. For many of the young attendees this was a great chance to learn about how each professional artist had started in their careers, and understand the future career pursuits they could obtain through their art.

Following the discussion, guided tours then took participants through Djaa Djuwima’s Surviving & Thriving Exhibition, Bendigo Art Gallery’s The Power of Colour Exhibition, and the Capital Theatre Foyer’s Weaving Threads by Trina Dalton-Oogjes Exhibition. The immersive experiences introducing students to spaces within Bendigo that some had never been before, allowing them to encounter First Nations art in a variety of traditional and modern mediums and styles, while learning how each artist visually shares their unique cultural identities and stories.

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After enjoying a delightful lunch in the sunshine at Dudley House, participants concluded the day with an interactive portrait-making workshop led by Annie Brigdale. Everyone enthusiastically participated, applying the tips, tricks and inspiration learned from First Nations artists throughout the day to create vibrant and expressive portraits. The workshop additionally giving the students that chance to create and chat, getting to further know each other from different schools and discuss future upcoming First Nations arts initiatives they could get involved in such as the Koorie Youth Flick Fest competition.

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Overall, this event exemplified the rich culture and creative presence within Greater Bendigo. Through engaging sessions, insightful discussions, and immersive experiences, the day not only provided a platform for connecting with local First Nations artists but also ignited aspirations among the young attendees into diverse pathways and possibilities available to them within creative industries.

The success of the Koorie Youth Art Day highlighted the importance of fostering cultural connections and nurturing the artistic talents of our youth to ensuring a continually vibrant and inclusive creative landscape for generations to come.