Free Art January 2017 at MRAG

Free Art January has returned to Maitland Regional Art Gallery with a month-long plan to keep the kids busy through the school holidays.

Every January the gallery throw open its doors to the community for dozens of workshops, activities and lectures from established artists.

2017 marks the return of the Fun Park as well as a day celebrating animation, artist lead drop-in-and-draw sessions for adults and teens and a community art project led by local artist Denise Duffy.

MRAG arts administrator Katte Bugeja said the program was designed to dove-tail with school holidays. 

“Summer holidays are a magical time of year when the sun is shining and there is a festive mood in the air,” she said.

“With the kids home from school and family visiting from interstate it also has its challenges, particularly when you are trying to keep everyone entertained.

“Free Art January is an opportunity for the community to come together and channel some of their creative energies throughout this month long extravaganza.”

Among the activities is Drop-In-And-Draw, a program designed for adults and teens looking to enhance their drawing skill with the help of professional artists. It will run on January 7, 12, 18 and 24.

Another is a workshop to reduce plastic waste and explore issues of sustainability. Members of the public are invited to bring in plastic bottles to contribute to the community art project held on January 14 and 28. 

Ms Bugeja said MRAG worked with local health service providers to ensure activities were inclusive and accessible in the 2017 program.

“A new feature of the Fun Park is a sensory space created for families and children to use when they need some quiet time amidst the energy of the day’s activities,” she said.

“[The program] has something for everyone; come along and meet a local artist, learn some new skills, help build a community art project or simply relax in the gallery garden whilst the kids play.”

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