The creative talents of student artists around Yarra Ranges will be on display at the end of February, as part of the annual VCE Showcase.
The VCE Showcase, hosted by Council and Burrinja Cultural Centre, is an exhibition at The Memo, Healesville featuring works from students across Yarra Ranges in mediums such as photography, painting, sketches, sculpture and multimedia art.
Opening on 21 February, the exhibition will include a Takeover Day on Saturday, 29 February with free community events.
Yarra Ranges Mayor, Richard Higgins, encouraged the community to come out and support the young artists involved in the show.
“The VCE Showcase is our opportunity to display some outstanding work from talented young artists in our local schools,” Cr Higgins said.
“Having work exhibited as an artist can be a really positive, validating experience and for some of these artists, this will be the first time they’ve had their work on display.
“A key part of the VCE Showcase is our alumni program, where students who have exhibited can come back next year and work with our exhibitions team to learn about curating, creating an exhibition from scratch and running the show.
“We’ve had showcase alumni working on shows for 13 years, and they gain real-life, paid experience and industry knowledge from experts, all the while supporting other young artists.
“I’m proud that we offer events such as the VCE Showcase and I’m proud of the spectacular work that has gone into this year’s event. I encourage everyone in the community to come out to the Memo and see what the showcase has to offer.”
Exhibition Assistants, Catherine Jewell and Tevin McSweeney – both of whom have exhibited in previous showcases – said the team would contact schools and chat to students about submitting their work, then learn about how an exhibition is run.
“We would come out and talk to the students in the class, see how they were going and just encourage them to fill out an application – it was up to them if they wanted to submit,” Catherine said.
“I haven’t been involved in the setup of an exhibition before, so this has been a new experience for me, but a really good one,” Tevan said.
“I’m keen to get more into curating and exhibition design, learning about designing a space.”
The Creative Showcase Takeover Day will involve a panel discussion about keeping creativity in day-to-day life, a Q&A session about art as a side-hustle and a photography walkshop with Yarra Valley-based photographer, Suzanne Phoenix.
The Takeover Day begins at 11am, is free to enter, and lunch will be provided.
Ambrose, a student from Little Yarra Steiner School, will exhibit a piece called Are You Okay?, a piece that displays the emotions that people sometimes have under the surface, while appearing fine to others.
“I wanted to show that people on the outside may appear okay or perfect by portraying this idealistic and normal face. But looking deeper, people can be experiencing these things that we can’t see,” Ambrose said.
Lilydale Heights College Student, April, created a paper-quilled artwork, Hippocampus, which is a mixture of a horse and a sea creature from Greek mythology.
“I had to curl each bit of paper individually, I had to cut them down to size, I had to shape them the way I wanted it, I had to make sure they glued properly,” April said.
“It was a long process and it was pretty stressful, but I really enjoyed it because it was kind of therapeutic at the same time.”
Upwey High School student, Gianna, also created a work inspired by mythology, dreams and creating a feeling of discomfort.
“I want people to appreciate what’s in their dreams,” Gianna said.
“A lot of people can forget about it, but I think that can be a big inspiration for an artist. It’s hard to interpret other people’s dreams so I think it can be a really good medium to bring forth those ideas.”
The VCE Showcase will have an official opening event from 6-9pm on Friday, 21 February at The Memo, where visitors can listen to live music, support young artists and discuss art and culture over food and drinks.
The Showcase will close on Sunday, 1 March.