Mentoring in art for kids

Art Mentor Sue Hodges believes every child is born an artist.

"Just some grow out of it," Ms Hodge who is running an art mentoring program in Canowindra says.

Through Canowindra Arts Inc the locally run art mentoring program, students between the age of 9 and 17 are nurtured and taught how to develop their art skills.

Ms Hodge has been running the program for four years and teaches the students all mediums and styles of fine art.

From Paint pouring to traditional landscape painting, perspective sketches to portraits in oil crayon, students enjoy a wide range of art experiences.

The program is funded by a grant from the Sally Foundation, a philanthropic organisation that invests in youth projects in the Orange region.

"It's been so freeing, to be able to teach regularly without wondering constantly where the money is coming from," Ms Hodge said.

The program, designed and implemented by Ms Hodge, is free for all participants.

This year has been a challenge due to Covid-19 restrictions with the program reduced to nine lessons over a single term with each student having their own work station and equipment.

The Grand Exhibition Opening is not possible due to the space that would have been needed for all the students and families to gather.

"The highlight each year usually has been the exhibition opening and the students showing off their work, but there is still going to be a exhibition," Ms Hodge said.

She invites everyone and anyone to come along during the weekend of September 19 and 20 to view the students works.

There will also be opportunity for people to write encouraging comments that will be handed to each student at the end of the weekend.

"It's a lot of work for one weekend, but its worth it, it's important for the students to realise their work is worth framing and putting on a wall.

"It can make a difference to that student continuing in their love of art or not.

"Art is such a valuable and healthy pastime for anyone. In this era of Mental Health Challenges for our young people it's a great option for them to get a pencil and paper out and just start sketching.

"More people should try it, and you don't need to be good at it. I know I'm a saner person when I'm being creative," Ms Hodge said.