Mural collaboration sees meaningful benefits

Newcomb Secondary College students work with street artist on visual arts project.

Tuesday, 25 April 2023 at 11:00 pm
College students with street artist created a series of murals
Newcomb Secondary College and Geelong Gallery staff in front of collaborative arts project mural with artist RONE (third from right).

Geelong locals will have noticed some bright new artworks on the streets recently, after an exciting collaboration between Newcomb Secondary College and Geelong-born and internationally acclaimed street artist Tyrone Wright (aka RONE).

You may know RONE from his exhibition at Flinders Street Station, the Geelong Gallery and his works at the old Geelong Cement Works silos. In his latest endeavour, RONE worked with 450 Geelong students to create a series of murals, inspired by the students’ own voice, agency and creativity.

RONE and Ella Preston from Geelong Gallery were at Newcomb Secondary College for 10 days while they worked with students to co-design the murals and complete 18 painting sessions together.

The project at Newcomb Secondary College has harnessed the power of the arts to improve student health and wellbeing, and with other schools also getting involved, it has been a big hit with the locals.

Arts for connection, health and community pride

According to Acting Principal Scott McLeod, the project has made an incredibly positive impact. Scott explained that the murals unveiled in March 2023 have been well-received as a source of community celebration, pride and delight from students and teachers alike.

‘It was a privilege to be involved in this amazing artwork collaboration,’ Scott said.

‘The project has seen students’ skills in planning, design and painting grow along with a huge boost to their self-confidence and connectedness … a connectedness with each other, the wider community and the school.’

Likewise, artist RONE lauded the collaboration’s many benefits. It was a different direction for him, and something he had not done before.

‘The outcome of the mural is just a small component of the hidden benefits of a project like this,’ RONE said.

‘Providing these young people with an opportunity to take a leading role in all decision-making processes and supporting them to collaborate and work with their peers, and to plan and co-design this public mural, has been an incredibly fulfilling experience.’

Program engages numerous Geelong schools, teachers and students

The visual arts program has also included St Thomas Aquinas Primary School Arts in Norlane and Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School in Ocean Grove.

At St Thomas Aquinas Primary School, First Nations artists and cultural educators Norm Stanley and Nikki McKenzie worked with students from all year levels to explore students’ connection to place.

Students from grades 4, 5 and 6 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School worked on a similar project about connection to place which explored First Nations history and culture curriculum.

The project is a collaboration between artists, schools, VicHealth and the Geelong Gallery, and has made important connections between students, teachers, artists, Traditional Owners and First Nations people.

Find out more

For more information, refer to the Newcomb Secondary College webpage.