Inspiring young artists – Sculpture by the Sea

March 14, 2024

The Fogarty Foundation is dedicated to ensuring all children get access to a high-quality, well-rounded education.  To that end, we are pleased to support students from schools in low socio-economic communities to participate in the educational component of Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach.

This initiative provides students with direct exposure to creativity in the sculptural arts, led by artists, which was well received given the enthusiastic involvement of the students in March. By enabling students to interact with public sculptures, the Education Program seeks to stimulate creativity and inspire, ideally laying the groundwork for future artistic endeavors.  As part of the Foundation’s first year of support for the program, 3 classes attended in total from North Balga Primary School and Nollamara Primary School participated in the School Education Program. 

‘This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage with a wide variety of artistic materials and processes, in a magical setting. Thank you so much for allowing us to attend, through your generous funding, as we would otherwise have missed out.’ 

Nancy Thomas, Visual Art Teacher, North Balga Primary School 

Many students from low socioeconomic backgrounds have limited exposure to cultural experiences. The annual Sculpture by the Sea event at Perth’s Cottesloe Beach allows these students to access a world of artistic expression that might otherwise be beyond their reach. The Fogarty Foundation’s support ensures that financial constraints do not hinder their ability to partake in this enriching cultural experience, fostering a sense of inclusivity and helping to broaden horizons.  

So, why bother with the arts?  Approximately 73% of organisations surveyed in the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Survey reported that creative thinking skills was a top priority for them when considering future talent needs, agreeing that this skill set is increasing in relevance and importance (Forbes, 2024). For the students we support, a visit to Sculpture by the Sea becomes a classroom without walls. The interactive workshops offered as part of the exhibition provide a unique learning experience. The Program is carefully designed to extend learning about art by exposing students to diverse artistic expression, encouraging critical thinking, and hopefully, developing a lifelong appreciation for the arts. 

For example, artist Mikaela Castledine eloquently conveyed this to the students when explaining that, although they wouldn’t leave with anything tangible in their hands, they would carry lasting impressions in their minds. 

‘Mikaela’s workshop was fun because it is good to try something different, and by doing it, I will remember it.’  

Han, Year 6 Student, North Balga Primary School 

Arts education is a cornerstone of developing well-rounded individuals who can navigate the complexities of the world.  By providing students with the tools to appreciate and engage with the arts, the Program contributes to the development of a generation that is both culturally and creatively aware. 

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