GRADE 8 Bridgewater High School student Tasmin (‘Minnie’) Pullen is the latest of a string of Bridgewater High students to achieve outstanding success in Tasmanian art competitions.
Minnie won both the grades 7/8 division and the overall first prize in the youth art competition held at the Royal Hobart Show last year.
Fellow grade 8 student Sophia Yani won the grade 7/8 division of last year’s Tasmania-wide Young Archies portrait competition.
And grade 9 student Kane Bennett received a first in the art competition associated with the Cressy Trout Competition.
In 2008, Hannah Pullen won the grade 9/10 section of the Young Archies competition, having won the grade 9 section at the Hobart Show the previous year.
In 2007, Amy Pouwelse won the grade 10 section at the Hobart Show and in the Young Archies competition not only won the grade 9/10 section but was the overall winner, defeating students from primary school to college level across Tasmania.
Bridgewater High’s art teacher Eve Mills said all the students seemed stunned by the fact their works were good enough to win competitions or were even accepted in the first place.
She said that if there as a secret to encouraging students and pushing them to such a high standard it was to have students see their work framed.
“It’s amazing the change that takes place when students see their works looking professionally finished. I try to frame works as quickly as possible for that very reason,” Eve said.
“Encouraging students to ‘have a go’, make mistakes and then turn the obstacles into opportunities – that’s the bottom line in the classroom.
“I like to set targets early on so students have time to settle into the idea of setting high goals and striving to achieve those goals and then presenting artworks that are ‘good enough to frame’.”
Eve said it was important to recognise that talent in art is multifaceted.
“A student may have a great flair for pencil work but not for paint or three dimensional work. The challenge is to find that niche or strength that will motivate the student to move on to the next level.”
Eve was the driving force behind the establishment of the Art House in the grounds of the Brighton Council’s plant nursery, where community and student art works are displayed.