Select Amount

Creative Education Opportunities expand with MAMA x TAFE Partnership

Young women with curly hair wearing a floral top and blue blazer pant suit stands next to a middle aged man in plaid shirt, grey suit jacket and chinos next to a older women with short grey hair wearing a red jumper over a black skivvy. They are all smiling at the camera and standing in the TAFE art studio next to multiple large wooden benches with clay fired tableware on them.
Murray Art Museum Albury

Murray Art Museum Albury and NSW TAFE Albury have joined together in a new partnership offering short courses held in the specialty art studios at Albury TAFE campus.

As part of the partnership NSW TAFE provides the venue, equipment and qualified technician, and MAMA offers expertise in their short course facilitation including ticketing, promotion, art tutors and course content.

MAMA Director Bree Pickering says ‘The Museum has two great art studios that are in almost constant use. Between daytime school visits, Kids Art School in the afternoons, and adult short courses at night, and workshop on the weekends, the teaching spaces are in almost constant use. They are versatile studios, but there are limits on what we can offer in these spaces.’

With a surge of interest in pottery and ceramics, the MAMA team first contacted TAFE about a potential partnership to deliver their ceramics short courses from TAFE’s well-equipped studio - which quickly lead to other opportunities.

 ‘We were so impressed by the facilities at NSW TAFE. The Albury community is incredibly lucky to have such well-equipped art-making spaces. We began to see a number of opportunities to work together to strengthen the art education offering in Albury.’

Bree Pickering, MAMA Director

Border Region, TAFE Services Manager Mark Guiney, says it is a win-win for both parties.

'There is a natural pipeline for arts education that starts with short courses and workshops for beginners. The MAMA Short Courses are affordable, accessible and held outside of work hours. They are a perfect appetizer for more substantial study, such as a Diploma or Bachelor of Visual Art; that NSW TAFE delivers on campus in Albury.’

Guiney added that expanding the number of art classes between our two venues, we create a critical mass of teaching opportunities locally which helps us attract and retain skilled artist educators. This in turn allows more programs to be delivered.

Since reopening their doors in 2015, MAMA has experience continuous demand for art classes. The two modest studios included in the redeveloped building initially hosted school workshops during the day, and a small selection of art classes after hours. Within the first five years, both studios were full on weeknights and weekends with regular courses and workshops, and a small garage at the Botanic Gardens depot had become home to a modest Ceramics studio.

TAFE Studio with Ceramics in action

With no sign of slowing demand, the Museum sought new opportunities to expand the creative education program, moving their Ceramics Short Course program to the TAFE studios in February 2022. From the first term, all Ceramics courses have booked out, with a new Printmaking course added at TAFE in Term Three, also booked out.

‘The MAMA Studio program has been graduating around 400 students per year from the short course program. We know there is strong demand for these experiences. But we also want to encourage people to consider furthering their education and taking a more professional approach to their practice. Both Printmaking and Ceramics have highly specialized equipment, and we appreciate the generosity of NSW TAFE in making their space and equipment available,’ continues Pickering.

Ceramics and Printmaking have been a core part of the Diploma and Bachelor Visual Arts programs at NSW TAFE, with purpose-built studios and specialized equipment for these mediums being provided at the local campus.

 “Partnering with MAMA allows us to extend the educational outcomes from this facility. It’s good for the Albury area, provides an investment in growing the Border Arts community and ultimately, it’s also a positive way for us to introduce our great campus and facilities to potential future students."

Mark Guiney, TAFE Services Manager

Pickering anticipates that demand for creative education will continue to grow into the future and says MAMA has witnessed individuals looking to art and creative practice to help cope with the pressures of life.

‘Every time we thought things would slow down, because of bushfires, or pandemic, or other stresses – we’ve actually seen the opposite. Making space for creativity, learning, and personal growth continues to be very important for many people. We’re grateful to be working with NSW TAFE to expand these opportunities for creative learning to a broader audience.’

Bookings are now open for Term Four Short Courses, including the new Printmaking for Beginners and Ceramics for Beginners held at Albury TAFE.

An Open Day in the Visual Arts Faculty at TAFE is scheduled for Wednesday 7 September at 6pm, for community members interested in learning about Visual Arts Certificate, Diploma, and Bachelor programs offered at Albury campus.

Visit TAFE NSW Albury on Facebook to see more information about the Open Day.

Image: Bree Pickering (Director MAMA), Justin Clancy MP, Mary-Jane Griggs (Head Teacher, Creative and Design Ideation, TAFE NSW, Albury Campus) inside the ceramics studio at the Albury TAFE campus.