We recently visited the students at Margaret Jurd College as an opportunity to help generate ideas for a new mural that will be painted on the corner of Sandgate Road and Hansen Place. This community mural project is part of the City of Newcastle’s Shortland Local Centre Program.
UP&UP collaborated with the City of Newcastle in Beresfield on a similar project in 2020.
For us, graffiti/street art is rooted in placemaking and can be used as a way to foster people’s connections with their communities. By meaningfully engaging with the students at Margaret Jurd College, our intention was to ensure that their voices and shared visions are not only visually represented, but their sense of belonging is reflected back into the community.
For 2 hours, we delivered our Street Art Express Program to ten year 10 students as a way to help flare ideas, themes and symbols which hold meaning and significance of what Shortland means to them.
About Street Art Express
Street Art Express guides participants through a process of creative self-expression and are encouraged to express things that matter to them through art. The program offers a hands-on experience in street art techniques (spray painting, stencilling, paint pens) as they produce two artworks: one for themselves and a group piece for the school.
Throughout the program, participants also come to learn the difference between graffiti art and graffiti vandalism after sharing the history and culture of graffiti/street art and where it comes from.
The second half of the session was a great chance to flesh out some of the concepts that participants drew from earlier in the day and to construct some potential design ideas for the Shortland mural. It was particularly helpful in coming back to their original artworks as a source of inspiration. Each artwork shows a unique perspective and way of self-expression.
Ideas included symbolically incorporating local businesses and areas of interest such as the Hunter Wetlands Centre into the design. Importantly, the students led a conversation around somehow respectfully including the acknowledgement of Shortland being on Aboriginal land was raised.
Looking for a different team building activity for your workplace? Often our programs provide the opportunity to build relationships between organisations and staff. Get in touch with us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book!