Children can benefit from art in numerous ways, as it plays a crucial role in their cognitive, emotional, and social development. Here are some of the key benefits:
Creativity and Imagination: Art allows children to explore their creativity and imagination freely. It encourages them to think outside the box, come up with unique ideas, and express themselves in creative ways.
Fine Motor Skills: Engaging in activities such as drawing, painting, and sculpting helps children develop their fine motor skills. These activities require precision and control of small muscles, which is essential for tasks like writing.
Self-Expression: Art provides children with a means to express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences that they may not be able to articulate verbally. It can be a therapeutic outlet for processing emotions and communicating their inner world.
Problem-Solving Skills: When children engage in art, they often encounter challenges and obstacles they need to overcome. This can stimulate their problem-solving abilities as they figure out how to make their creative vision a reality.
Self-Esteem and Confidence: Completing art projects and receiving positive feedback can boost a child's self-esteem and confidence. It teaches them that they are capable of creating something valuable and unique.
Cultural Awareness: Exposure to different forms of art from various cultures can broaden a child's perspective and increase their cultural awareness and sensitivity.
Attention to Detail: Art encourages children to pay attention to details, colours, shapes, and patterns, which can enhance their observation skills.
Communication Skills: Discussing their art or collaborating on art projects with peers can improve a child's communication skills. They learn how to express their ideas and listen to others' perspectives.
Emotional Regulation: Art can help children regulate their emotions. It provides a safe space for them to process and release negative emotions, reducing stress and anxiety.
Critical Thinking: Art can stimulate critical thinking by prompting children to analyze their work, make decisions about design and composition, and evaluate the effectiveness of their creations.
Appreciation for Beauty: Engaging with art can instil an appreciation for beauty and aesthetics, whether in nature, culture, or everyday life.
Persistence and Patience: Art often requires patience and perseverance. Children learn that achieving their artistic goals may take time and effort, teaching them valuable life skills.
Cultural and Historical Understanding: Through art, children can learn about the history and culture of different societies. Artworks often reflect the values, beliefs, and social contexts of the time in which they were created.
Social Interaction: Participating in group art activities, such as art classes or collaborative projects, can improve social skills and encourage teamwork and cooperation.
Confidence in Non-Verbal Expression: For children who struggle with verbal expression, art provides an alternative means of communication, helping them feel more confident and understood.
Encouraging children to explore and engage with art can have a positive and lasting impact on their overall development.
Being rowed across the Tweed River to get to school, the young Margaret would not have realised the incredible contribution she would make to the art narrative of the Tweed Region and Northern Rivers.
Art has an immense way of speaking to the viewer and telling a tale of past, present and future, of cultural shifts and progress and changes in beliefs and values. It documents moments in time, explores the natural environment and reflects on significant events.
Whilst we celebrate Margaret Olley’s 100-year anniversary of her birth and stand in awe of her paintings and the reconstruction of her home which is housed in the Tweed Regional Gallery, we can also look toward our current artists who live, work and play in the region.
As an emerging artist myself and owner of Mist Gallery, I’ve been in a fortunate position to work with an extraordinarily talented group of artists who live right here on our doorstep. Artists who live amongst us but are often too modest to say what they do.
Artists have a knack of expressing ideas, emotions and narratives that can’t be explained in words. Their choice of brushstroke, colour, and technique add to a thoughtful composition carefully balancing how much is and isn’t represented to allow space for personal connection and interpretation.
Scott McDougall lives and paints in Stokers Siding, exhibiting at Mist Gallery. His upcoming show in October 2023 is one that explores the hinterland and the rocky landscapes along Tenterfield. McDougall recently won the Doyle’s prize for his painting Tenterfield Gold, which captures an incredible sense of space, light and energy of the district. McDougall’s painting can sometimes be mistaken for photographs. They are photo-realistic in style and draw the viewer across the canvas taking in details that have been carefully considered and painted to perfection
Teamed with McDougall for an exhibition in October is John Corby, who lives and paints in Pottsville. Corby’s approach is reminiscent of the impressionists. He captures daily life on the coast, such as, children playing in the rock pools, surfers scanning the waves, and patient anglers hoping to bring home a feed for the family. These, often small oil paintings by Corby, resonate with locals and visitors alike. They encapsulate the essence of coastal life and transport people to a time and place often cherished with friends and family.
The artists of the region are many and varied. Up and coming artist, Josette Macpherson, who has just recently completed a new body of work, Falling Water, takes inspiration from the waterways and networks of the Northern Rivers. Her interest in the movement and energy of water is not only expressed in her paintings, but also forms part of her leisure time with her young family, as they play and swim in the waterholes close to her parent’s home near Whian Whian. Macpherson is one of the latest artists represented by Mist Gallery.
Similarly inspired is the whimsical work of Jenna-Lee Joy Balk. Jenna has recently joined the stable of artists at Mist Gallery after having a successful solo show, Bringing in JOY. She intuitively paints using her recollection of place, childhood memories and the feeling of nostalgia. Letting the brush flow, guide and take her back to beautiful memories. Jenna's works take you into the rainforests and swimming holes and invite you to bathe in their dappled light. Figures in the paintings, dwarfed by the scale of the landscape, signify family ties and connection to place.
We live work and play in an extraordinary part of the world and we can’t help but reflect and respond creatively.
by Helen Otway
I love that I am surrounded by beautiful artwork not only in my gallery but also in my home. It brings me much joy and a deep gratitude knowing that the artist has put their heart and soul into the piece. When you stand in front of an original artwork, you are standing in the space the artist stood. It really is a special feeling.
Since moving to Casuarina in 2019, my husband and I have enjoyed following the local art scene, attending many exhibition openings as well as hosting many at Mist Gallery. We have purchased some really beautiful artworks from local Tweed artists, including Dylan Cooper, Jane Hoggard, Gabriela Soelkner, Andrew Cullen, Heidi Ledwell and Annie Long. These artworks are key to adding charm and character to our new home.
When choosing art, it’s not always about the colour or the space. Mostly for me, it’s about what moves me and the connection I have with the subject or the artist. It’s like a song, a movie or a good book. It needs to inspire and engage me.
Since opening Mist Gallery, I now represent over 50 artists, with many of them living right here on the Tweed Coast. Each has their own style or subject which creates a wonderful diverse selection for the art buyer. With over 200 works in the gallery and stockroom, I am able to help people find their right piece.
Our new group exhibition, Habitat, opens Thursday 8th September. Local artist, John Corby, will have 19 new works on display, whilst I will also have four new works on show as a response to the 2022 floods. Other local artists in the exhibition include, Dylan Cooper, Annie Long, Heidi Ledwell, Noel Hart, Kathryn Cleland and many more.
We look forward to helping you.
Artist and Owner of Mist Gallery
1b/51 Tweed Coast Road, Cabarita Beach
From my article in Tweed Coast Living
1. Visit Mist Gallery's latest exhibition, Habitat, and admire the exquisite artwork from some of our favourite local, regional and invited artists. Mist Gallery is open Thursday through to Sunday 9am to 3pm.
2. Grab a coffee and a bite to eat at one of our favourite coffee shops.
4. Swim at Cabarita Beach or just bob gently in the waves and forget about all your worries.
5. Take a surf lesson with some of the local surf teachers. No.35 Kitchen and Bar or Paper Daisy.
What a ride it's been! Open for two year now and all through a topsy turvy two and half years. We've had COVID, floods, and a recession but hey, we are still here.
HABITAT is our latest exhibition opening in September to mark our birthday. It's an exploration of our environment and the habitat of many amazing wildlife. However, recent changes in climate and constant extreme weather events have compromised these habitat. Waterways have been churned, forest floors flooded, trees uprooted. Developments have also encroached on natural habitats with wildlife seeking out new places to nest and feed.
Our HABITAT exhibition is a collection of works by our stable of artists.
So this is us! Helen and Matt. We took a chance on opening an art gallery during a global pandemic and we are pretty happy we did. Whilst the business is still growing and evolving, the positive feedback and returning clients are heart warming.
Over the last three months, we have seen 26 artists exhibit their work. Whilst most have been local to the Tweed or Byron Shires, there have also been three invited artists from Vic, WA and QLD. Our artists are a mix of early career artists to established artists with a long list of credits.
We have met many local art lovers and shared stories about our favourite artists, collected works and the 'one that got away!'
You may not see Matt too much in the gallery, but he certainly helps out with the hanging, maintenance and lunch providing on the weekend!