Stu­dents to make an art state­ment

Gatton Star - - NEWS - Lach­lan Mcivor lach­lan.mcivor@gat­ton­star.com.au

STEP­PING back through the gates of her old school has been a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence for Emma Mclu­cas.

Not because for­mer teach­ers call her by her name in­stead of yelling it at her, but because she is work­ing to in­spire the school’s pre­sent gen­er­a­tion of stu­dents through an am­bi­tious art project.

The Gat­ton artist has re­turned to Lock­yer District High School to teach stu­dents new skills.

They will as­sist Mrs Mclu­cas as she paints street art in three bath­rooms as well as con­struct­ing a mu­ral on a large out­door wall.

Stu­dents will choose a word that de­rives from the school’s motto of “be­long, be­lieve, achieve’’ and a se­lect num­ber of stu­dents will adorn the art­work.

“A motto is slammed all the time, it has no mean­ing any more,” Mrs Mclu­cas said.

“I’d re­ally like them to un­der­stand that words still have mean­ing but it might not be the word that’s put in front of you.

“Hope­fully they can get some life back into their motto and then the other kids that come to the bath­room might ac­tu­ally feel that as well.”

It is hoped the art­work will re­duce van­dal­ism as stu­dents take a re­newed sense of own­er­ship of their school.

The art­work group will mainly con­sist of year 10 stu­dents work­ing along­side Mrs Mclu­cas on a project pegged to be com­pleted within the next eight weeks.

“They are a very di­verse group,” she said.

“We have spe­cial needs kids, at-risk teens and then some beau­ti­fully tech­ni­cal chil­dren as well.

“I want to give back. I think it’s re­ally spe­cial to give back to the com­mu­nity. I’m so lucky to have so much space.”

The full-time soft­ware test an­a­lyst’s art­work would be fa­mil­iar to many in town.

Mrs Mclu­cas worked on the mu­ral on the side of the Gat­ton Real Es­tate build­ing as part of the First Coat Lock­yer project last year, and other pieces can be spotted at Dance Force and jak and Mo Taste Co.

The 29-year-old is ex­cited to be pass­ing on valu­able lessons given to her dur­ing First Coat.

“I’m just so blessed to have the com­mu­nity be­hind my art,” she said.

“I’m for­ever grate­ful that busi­nesses are giv­ing me some space.’’

The project is funded through the Re­gional Arts De­vel­op­ment Fund, a part­ner­ship between the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment and Lock­yer Val­ley Re­gional Council to sup­port lo­cal arts and cul­ture in re­gional Queens­land.

PHOTO: LACH­LAN MCIVOR

BLANK SPACE: Artist Emma Mclu­cas with stu­dents Heath Tap­per and Mad­di­son Agnew.

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