Sessions & Speakers

Conference 2017

Speakers and Breakaway Sessions

Please select one AM session and one PM session when booking. Please have your preferences ready.

Morning Sessions Available (2 hours) Choose one when booking:
Afternoon Sessions Available (2 hours) Choose one when booking:

Tonal Drawing: Perceptions of Reality
Speaker: Adam Cusack

(Available as both an AM and PM session) 

Spend some time learning how lighting a subject can add depth of meaning and unwritten narratives to an artwork. Using a range of drawing materials and techniques master draughtsman Adam Cusack will share some of the hard earned lessons from a career spanning 32 years at the drawing board.

Australian Artist Adam Cusack (Winner - 2016 Jacaranda Drawing Award) will lead a hands on workshop focused on creating realism through the moulding of light and shadow in drawing.

Adam CusackAbout Adam
'The act of making something to 'look real' is not what's necessarily important to the work. However, I have found that spending time on rendering the subject gives value to the idea, which in turn allows the audience to consider it's 'unrealism' and engage with my practice'

Adam Cusack’s practice explores ideas of authenticity and identity in popular culture. Using a process of conceptual development, photography then drawing or painting to realize the artwork, Adam is interested in showing real things in provocative ways; assembling unrelated objects together to bring about relationships that challenge the perception of the original items. His creative approach honors the traditional picture plane utilising simple methods, applying charcoal or pigment on the prepared surface.

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Life Drawing
Presenter: Nic Plowman

(Available as both an AM and PM session)

This Life drawing session will address linear and tonal approaches to life drawing and will involve demonstrations and practical exercises designed to build knowledge and confidence drawing the figure.

Nic PlowmanAbout Nic
Nic Plowman’s remarkable visual articulation has been widely acknowledged and he has been a finalist in many prestigious art prizes, including The Doug Moran Portrait Prize and twice in The Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship. Other noted achievements include: Finalist in the 2015 Hurford Hardwood Portrait prize, the Duke Prize and the Sunshine Coast Art Prize for three consecutive years. He was also a finalist in the international London Calling Exhibition at Scream Gallery, London (2009) and in the Power of Self Exhibition in New York (2011). Nic Plowman is represented by James Makin in Victoria and Anthea Polson in Queensland. He currently works out of his Collingwood studio in Melbourne and is the new Education Manager for Zart.

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Painting: Self Portraits
Presenter: Daniel Butterworth

(Available as both an AM and PM session)

Acclaimed painter Daniel Butterworth will lead a practical workshop demonstrating his energetic and expressive style in portraiture. This learning session is aimed at building your confidence in colour mixing and mark making as Daniel leads you into the treacherous territory of the self-portrait.

Workshop Requirements: Please bring an image of yourself on your charged smartphone or tablet (or a colour print if these are unavailable).

Daniel ButterworthAbout Daniel
Beginning his creative journey as an apprentice sign writer, Daniel felt the need to peruse his artistic instincts by studying art formally. Indicative of his energy, Daniel submitted forty self-portraits as part of his application for entry into Latrobe University. 

Daniel’s raw and expressive works have seen him included in many prestigious Australian and International Portrait Prize Exhibitions; including the coveted Archibald, Doug Moran, Black Swan and BP Portraiture Prizes.

“The self-portrait is the dominant subject of my work…finding that I am most free when I paint them. Through painting the self I tackle social and political issues…my latest series dealing with depression.”

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Sculpture: Objects, Armature & Linking the Line
Presenter: Carolyn V Watson

(Available as both an AM and PM session)

Using found images and objects as the launching point, this workshop will allow you the opportunity to discover new ways of introducing small sculpture into the classroom setting.

Australian artist, Carolyn V Watson will share a number of her techniques in developing armatures from drawings, incorporating the use of found objects and accessible materials. You will be learning about the wonder of transferring an idea into a three-dimensional form, and the importance that drawing and mental flexibility plays in this process.  

Using non-traditional approaches, you will learn methods of wire construction, assemblage and the importance of the repeated line in this process focused workshop.

BridgetAbout Carolyn
"It is a process of co-operation, an ongoing dialogue between maker and material. My work is centred upon repetition, making mistakes, adapting, hunting for the in-between" – Carolyn V Watson

Following her gut, best describes the last five years of Carolyn’s career as this has led to opportunities to facilitate artist run workshops in a number of high schools throughout Queensland. Her generosity of knowledge has also seen her establish a role as a tutor at the Brisbane Institute of Art.  It has been this aspect of education and articulating her practice that has strengthened her drive and ability as a maker.

Carolyn V Watson is an award-winning artist that has had both her 2D and 3D practice nationally recognized. She has featured in The John Fries Memorial Prize, the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, Marie Ellis OAM Drawing Prize and the Churchie National Emerging Art Prize. Carolyn V Watson is currently a tutor of Sculpture and Contemporary Watercolour at the Brisbane Institute of Art. She is represented by Anthea Polson Art in Queensland and will be showing with Penny Contemporary, Hobart in 2018

For Carolyn, it is a joy of process and discovery, whether it is cooking, drawing or reconstructing forms, that grounds her as an artist.

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Paul Klee's Phenomenal Finger Puppets
Presenter: Kylie Wickham 
(AM session only - Kylie will be also be presenting Miro's Magic in the afternoon) 

Pick up any art book on Paul Klee’s artwork and you will be hard pressed to find any information on the hidden wonders of his finger puppets! After making his son Felix a finger puppet for his birthday Paul Klee went on to make him fifty more. They are primitive and were created in the Punch and Judy style.

So just like Paul Klee, Kylie's group are going to explore puppetry, but are going large. You know what they say, bigger is better, and just as Paul Klee loved to work with plaster you will too.

Join Kylie in exploring primitive puppetry by one of the world master’s hidden secrets.

You will explore techniques in building simple armatures that you will be able to do with your students whilst also allowing students to extend themselves and work individually.  These techniques can also be adapted to other motifs. This is an engaging and fun lesson, you will walk away with a smile on your dial. Art glee with Klee!

This is an example of Zart’s new professional development online art series 'Master and Art Elements' coming your way soon! Sample a new way to learn!

Miro Magic
Presenter: Kylie Wickham 
(PM session only - Kylie will be also be presenting Paul Klee's Phenomenal Finger Puppets in the morning) 

When life is getting too serious and learning has lost its fun it's time to go Miro! Join Kylie in rediscovering your inner child. How do you get a child to relax, join in and have fun? Simple, go Miro!

You will learn how to have fun with your students whilst learning serious art and getting seriously great results. Miro, with his magical creatures, symbols and bold use of primary colours is the medicine. Learn how to let go, work in groups and create large-scale works for fabulous school displays.

This engaging class will teach you how to get your students to let go of preciousness and indecision whilst helping build confidence and relationships.

This non-threatening lesson will have you relaxed and creating in no time. You will walk away understanding a little more about one of the world's greatest masters, MIRO!

This is an example of Zart’s new professional development online art series 'Masters and Art Elements' coming your way soon! Sample a new way to learn!

KHendyEkersAbout Kylie
Kylie Wickham is a passionate artist and Teacher. She has always loved art and has been drawing from a young age. Kylie has a Bachelor in Fine Arts (R.M.I.T) and a Diploma of Education.

Kylie began her professional career working on special exhibitions at the NGV including the Van Gogh, Brett Whitely and Matisse exhibitions. Her passion for people, art and culture saw her become a dedicated traveller. For over ten years she balanced working as a secondary art teacher, travelling and working in galleries. During this time Kylie worked for the TATE Gallery in London on several major shows, including the Mondrian and Turner shows.

Kylie now balances her time between teaching, making art and working as a consultant for Zart. She is currently working on a new Zart Online Professional Learning Series and travels internationally to present Professional learning workshops.

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Flowers for Hockney: Still Life with the iPad
Presenter: Dee Zabel

(Available as both an AM and PM session) 

Following the magnificent Hockney exhibiton at The NGV, this workshop will focus on using the drawing/painting application 'Brushes Redux' to create still life images inspired by David Hockney. Participants will be shown how to use layers, adjust brush sizes and change colours within the program.

*Please bring a charged iPad with the latest operating system and ‘Brushes Redux’ application already downloaded. A general knowledge of how to use the iPad is recommended.

About Dee
Born in the USA, Dee decided to migrate to Australia after a semester at Monash University in 2002. She completed her degree in Fine Arts at Hampshire College in 2004 and returned to Monash to do a Dip Ed.  In 2005 Dee started working at Wycheproof P-12 College and thought she would last a year but ended up staying until 2009.  While there she taught P-10 Art, VCE Studio Art & Art, Year 7 Maths, 7/8 PE and Year 10 Health and Careers.  Dee was also involved in the town's progress Committee, Wyche Vision, and received the Young Citizen of the Year award in 2007 for her involvement with the Wycheproof Show, creation of the town website and brochure, billboards and school magazine.  Dee ran an Artist in Schools program in 2008 (with street artists) and it was covered by the Education Times, Oz student and OZ teacher magazine and the Herald Sun.  In 2009 she left Wycheproof and moved back to Melbourne to teach at Canterbury Primary School.  Dee exhibited work in the Zart Art Student Gallery in 2005, 2010 and 2011 and wrote two articles for the Zart Extra. In 2011, she presented her Artist in Schools program at the Zart Art Street Art Forum. Following this presentation, she left teaching to join the Zart Art team.

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Mixed Media Exploration
Presenter: Tania Di Berardino

(Available as both an AM and PM session) 

“It’s not about the destination, it’s how we get there that matters!” - Ursula Le Guin.

Join Tania on a session filled with experimentation, exploration and creativity.

To start the session, you will begin with some unpredictable drawing techniques, followed by an exploration of a range of art materials. This will lead into exploring colour and experimenting with collage. Finally, all your art experiments will be brought together to create a final piece.

The only limit is your imagination.

Tania Di BerardinoAbout Tania
Tania Di Berardino has a Bachelor of Fine Art and is a practising Artist; she has worked with Zart Art for ten years as a consultant and workshop facilitator. Tania has conducted workshops with primary, secondary and early year’s teachers as well as students and fellow artists. Tania’s focus when running a workshops is to encourage participants to explore and discover, things about art, materials and more importantly about themselves. She is also a member of the Paper Makers of Victoria and has organized and exhibited in a range of different art shows.

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Illustration: Creative Packaging Painting
Presenter: Dawn Tan
(AM session only) 

Known for her relaxed and loose style of watercolour, Artist Dawn Tan will teach you some handy techniques which you can model to your students. During this workshop, we'll be learning all about painting with the magic of watercolours! You will paint some interesting packaged items and discuss creative ways in which one can transform paintings into other objects. A variety of non-traditional techniques will be taught and participants will have fun discovering their own unique style.

About Dawn
Finding joy in food and nature, Artist and educator Dawn Tan works as a freelance illustrator and spends her days painting, soap making and running art workshops for both children and adults.

Dawn's work, creative career and her classes have been featured in many magazines, press and sites. Some of which includes Frankie Magazine, Smith Journal, Hooray Magazine, Inside Out Magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Design Files, A Cup of Jo, Apartment Therapy. Throughout her career, Dawn has also worked with many notable organisations such as Heide Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery of Australia, City of Melbourne's ArtPlay, Third Drawer Down, The Jacky Winter Group, Craft Victoria, Ella Bache Skincare, Craft Victoria, South Melbourne Market and so on.

With a huge passion for education and over a decade worth of experience working as an art teacher in both studios and schools, Dawn is currently setting up a an exciting, new home-based art school (In a Yurt!) in Melbourne's Inner West.

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Exploring Curriculum and Outcomes for Special Education
Presenter: Kristen Versteege-Brown

(AM session only) 

Join Kristen for a closer look at how to put together and plan an art module for special education students. Kristen will guide you through the art making and materials used for engaging special needs students. Outcomes, work reflection and response will be discussed.

About Kristen
Kristen is a highly passionate and dedicated educationalist and activist for individuals with disabilities, through her involvement in a multiple of educational and life opportunities for children and young adults. Kristen has worked in Special Education for 20 years including 15 years at Glenroy Specialist School, highly committing herself to PMLD children; those with physical multiple and learning disabilities. Kristen is a PLT leader with qualifications of a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in Special Education. 

Kristen had been a sort-after presenter and co-presenter at workshops and symposiums relating to the Arts; demonstrated further within a wide variety of personal and professional endeavours.

Kristen feels and breathes sensory experiences for children in the world of the Arts where the process over archers the product; ensuring equality, inclusion and access for the individual regardless of ability.

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Early Childhood Education
Presenter: Melinda Van Der Reest (Early Life Foundation)

(Available as AM session only) 

Early Life Foundation is an organisation focused on providing intentional, play based curriculum that will influence and impact upon children's lives and learning futures. Watch this space for more information about this workshop...

MelindaAbout Melinda

Melinda is a passionate children's advocate with more than 25 years of experience working with young children and their families in Community and Independent settings. She has Early Childhood and Primary training as well as a Bachelor of Special Education and an Advanced Certificate of Child and Family development.

Melinda has supported children and families with a wide range of needs and backgrounds from social/learning difficulties, school readiness, anxiety and impulsive behaviour as well as English as an additional Language.  She has conducted information sessions and worked closely with other professionals such as psychologists, speech therapists and occupational therapists to assist all children to access programs and reach potentials.  She has also been involved in a Monash University pilot program and study to meet needs of young children of high intellectual potential.

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Presenter: TBC

(Available as both an AM and PM session) 

Watch this space...

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Digital Media

Presenter: Ali McCann
(Available as both an AM and PM session)

This workshop aims to explore the possibilities of combining traditional photo-collage techniques and digital image making. Taking inspiration from the Berlin Dada group and the more contemporary photo-collage works of Zoë Croggon, Lucy Dyson and John Stezaker, participants will create then capture a number of hand-made collage works using the found imagery provided. Through detailed instruction, the digital files will undergo enhancement and manipulation using selected digital imaging techniques in the Adobe Photoshop program. Participants will walk away with an inkjet print of their mediated digital collage.

Educators of all levels and qualifications welcome!

AliMcCannAbout Ali

Ali McCann is a Melbourne based visual artist, musician and educator currently teaching at NCAT (Northern College of Art and Technology) in the Create and Folio Preparation programs. Ali has twelve years of teaching experience across a variety of year levels and qualifications, specifically Studio Arts (Photography), VET Certificate IV and Diploma of Photo Imaging and Certificate III and IV in Visual Art. 

Working predominantly with found photography, film and video, she has exhibited in solo and group shows at Kings ARI, West Space, Bus Projects, TCB Art Inc, c3 Contemporary Art Space, Chalk Horse and China Heights. Ali is currently undertaking a Master of Contemporary Art at VCA. As a freelance photographer, her photo-based artworks have featured on album covers for a number of Melbourne based recording artists and has been included in local and international publications such as Nylon (USA), Vogue Italia, SPIN (US), Dumbo Feather, Pass it On and The Age.

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Creative Mindful Moments
Presenter: Sandra Harwood

(AM session only) 

In this fast paced society we often find ourselves in autopilot; our reactive thoughts and actions rule us as we rush from activity to activity. Research shows that Mindful practices and being present, put us back in the drivers seat. By increasing our awareness we can improve the way we respond to stress and increase our overall well-being. In addition when we create daily mindful moments, when we create mindful moments we are better able to listen and understand our selves and each other - enriching our connections and quality of life.

As educators, Mindfulness complements our efforts to teach and support student independence, motivation, persistence, patience, interactions and resilience. Mindful practices help strengthen students’ ability to pay attention, process information and develop the skills to self-managing thoughts, emotions and actions.

Sandra will share a brief overview of how our brain works and the benefits of being present.  Visual, sound and sensory meditations will be used to demonstrate how to create mindful moments, followed by hands-on activities.

SandraAbout Sandra
Sandra Harwood has a Bachelor in Education, Diploma in Early Childhood, and is a qualified Personal Trainer and Life Coach. Sandra currently runs a Mindfulness program for children and staff at St Christopher’s Primary School. In her 27 years of teaching, Sandra has taught in all areas of the curriculum from foundation to grade six, including being an Art Specialist for 7 of those years; she has a ground level understanding of the daily pressures teachers face.

Sandra has facilitated Mindfulness and Well-Being Workshops for principals, leaders, staff and parents. She is on the Mercy Hospital for Women’s Advisory Committee and assists in facilitating family workshops for VARTA (Victorian, Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority). Her passion for mindfulness comes from having faced and overcome adversities and a desire to enhance our perceptions and abilities towards enjoying all life has to offer. Sandra is currently in the process of publishing a book about mindful strategies that enable us to tap into our inner dialogue as a means to improve our overall well-being.

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What's Going on at Heidi? Visual Thinking Strategies
Presenters: Carly Grace and Carly Richardson (Heide Museum of Modern Art)

(Available as both an AM and PM session) 

In this workshop, teachers will learn about how Heide MoMA is using Visual Thinking Strategies to engage students in slow looking and deep thinking about visual art.

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is an enquiry-based approach to experiencing art through careful, close looking and questioning, empowering students to discuss art based on what they can see in an artwork. The goal of VTS is not to teach the history of a work of art but rather to encourage students to observe independently and to back up their comments with evidence through dialogue with their peers.

During the program, teachers will gain insight into how VTS pedagogy connects directly to the Victorian Curriculum, developing students’ capabilities for Critical and Creative Thinking.

About Heide Museum of Modern Art

Carly Richardson is a maker, collections specialist and educator, and is interested in collaborations between artists and audience groups. She specialises in audience engagement, and interpretation methods that empower the audience as active participants in the museum experience. She currently works at Heide Museum of Modern Art as Education and Public Programs Coordinator and holds prior work, intern and volunteer experiences within small-medium not-for-profit art spaces. Carly’s formal qualifications include a Masters of Art Curatorship (University of Melbourne, 2015), a Diploma of Education –Secondary, Visual Arts (Monash University, 2006) and a Bachelor of Fine Art – Painting (RMIT, 2005).

Carly Grace is an artist and visual arts educator based in Melbourne, Australia. She specialises in interpretation education and has an extensive experience in designing and delivering diverse education and public programs within museums, community arts and diverse educational settings. She is currently the Education Manager at Heide Museum of Modern Art where she specialises in training educators in Visual Thinking Strategies. Carly’s formal qualifications include a Master in Cultural Heritage Deakin University, Diploma of Education (Secondary, Visual Art) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) from Monash University. Her philosophy for visual arts’ education is connecting people with the opportunities that art making and engagement in art culture can have in enriching their lives.

Visit Heide MoMA to learn some VTS skills

Presenter: Kristian Haggblom

(Available as both an AM and PM session) 

This workshop investigates educational techniques for teaching photography that incorporate smart phone devices and digital presentation platforms. The workshop will consider successful social media projects and experiments, advise on better smart phone photography techniques, examine online image presentation and consider responsible and ethical uses of such evolving technologies. A focus will be on engaging youth in visual arts education by using more technologically advanced and experimental tools.

Workshop Requirements: Participants must have their own smart phone with camera and Instagram account.

Kristian HaggblomAbout Kristian
Dr. Kristian Häggblom is an artist, curator and educator and presently teaches and designs curriculum at the Photography Studies College and La Trobe University. He completed his PhD through Monash University in 2014 and has exhibited his own work extensively in Australia and internationally well-being.

Dr. Kristian Häggblom is an artist, curator and educator and presently teaches and designs curriculum at the Photography Studies College and La Trobe University. He completed his PhD through Monash University in 2014 and has exhibited his own work extensively in Australia and internationally.

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Art Ideas: Linking Curriculum 
Speaker: TBC

(AM session only)

Watch this space...

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Mindfulness and Positive Journaling
Presenters: Elizabeth Diacos and Louise Dunne

(PM session only)

Grounded in the field of Positive Psychology and using a strengths-based approach combined with some elements of a Life Coaching Model, Positive Journalling is aimed at unlocking creativity and promoting creative expression.

The workshop invites practitioners to begin with numerous stimuli to foster creativity and creative expression, dream of a Best Possible Self and then use that dream to envisage the future they want, experiencing the tools firsthand as they explore their own life narratives.Dabble, play and explore with Art techniques, writing prompts and other stimuli such as music and poetry to help get the creative juices flowing and promote self-expression. Create an artwork that represents you at your best.

Workshop participants will walk away with techniques for generating creative thinking in themselves and others, notes outlining the Positive Journalling process and an artefact to keep which then serves as a touchstone or talisman: a reminder and test of their ideas, and a stimulus to ongoing action.

About Elizabeth
Elizabeth Diacos (MAPP) is a Melbourne (Australia)-based Performing and Visual Arts teacher and founder of Larksong Enterprises. Elizabeth works in the field of Arts and Positive Psychology with an emphasis on the use of the Arts as a means of fostering creative prospection and wellbeing.   Elizabeth and Louise Dunne, met while studying the MAPP at the University of Melbourne, and together, they developed the intervention of Positive Journalling. Using a combination of creative exercises, Appreciative Inquiry exercises and Best Possible Self exercises with an emphasis on creative and visual responses, this process encourages the development of visual and literary creativity. Elizabeth is particularly interested in the potential use of Positive Journalling with adolescents as it can enable the development of a positive vision for their futures.   She is an experienced printmaker and ceramicist and teaches art and beginners’ ukulele classes in community settings, just for fun.

About Louise
Louise Dunne (MAPP) is an accomplished educator and leader with experience across a range of school and tertiary institutions. She has a passion for working with young people and education professionals to identify strengths and opportunities to achieve personal, educational and professional goals. Inspired by her life experiences as well as post graduate studies in student wellbeing and positive psychology, Louise is passionate about supporting others to flourish by imagining and realising their best possible future via coaching and self-change interventions.

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Wellbeing: Laugh for the Health of it!
Presenter: Merv Neal

(PM session only)

And now for something completely different...

We all know that Laughter is the Best Medicine, but did you know that it is also a form of meditation, and yoga? The presenter, Merv Neal, is Australia’s leading Gelotologist, Laughter Therapist, and Researcher. He will discuss the 7 areas of Holistic Health, stress management, and mindfulness, using laughter. You will then get to experience an unforgettable session. Laughter is a tool which can be used to control emotions, and managing stress, which helps you to deal with different and difficult situations and people. This session focuses on the individual using principles of health, wellbeing, learning and personal development.

About Merv
A professional and successful businessman, gelotologist, researcher, and Laughter Yoga practitioner, Merv presents in a very interactive, authentic, inspiring, informative, and of course funny style. With a wealth of first hand, and hands on knowledge and research, he is able to provide hints and tips about work and personal stress triggers and indicators to identify and take affirmative action to resolve these.

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Please note: 

Zart Art Pty Ltd cannot guarantee that any individual presenter, as listed in the programme, will be available on the day of the Art Educators Conference to deliver the scheduled session.

In such an event Zart Art Pty Ltd has the right to substitute the original presenter with another qualified presenter to run that session,  with no penalty to Zart Art Pty Ltd.