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Keeping creativity alive in the community

Artist Hamish Hall, a Fine Art and Master of Education alumnus, has created an out-of-the-box small business in Tasmania, using his skills as an art teacher to keep creativity alive in our community.

As well as teaching art in secondary school, Hamish runs Archaica Schola, a penthouse art studio for adults, kids and teenagers in the heart of Hobart’s CBD.

While the idea started as a way of providing art extension classes to students after school, providing Paint ‘n’ Sip art classes to adults has become a core focus of Archaica Schola.

“There’s a huge need and want for adult education art courses in the community,” Hamish said.

“We now have a nice cohort of 60-70 people who returned after their first class and keep coming back. It’s a place where you can make mistakes and have fun with your mates.”

But Hamish believes there are some myths about art that are worth clearing up.

“People come in and say ‘I’m not creative’, but it’s more important to teach process and skills and then people can express themselves,” he said.

“I find it a tragedy when kids, for example, are told to just be creative but haven’t been shown how – and then they are disappointed because the result is not what their brain was telling them to make.”

Hamish says that Art School at University, which included some business courses, provided a good grounding for his career. “I’ve also learned heaps along the way during the business.”

When not painting, Hamish is a keen swimmer, and in 2016, he swam the English Channel for local charity Speak Up Stay Chatty to support mental health issues. For Hamish, the particular focus was the mental health of young men.

Ahead of the swim, Hamish wrote on his Facebook event page, “Inspired by my father’s English Channel relay swim and fulfilling a lifelong dream, I am hoping to complete the swim as well as raise $10,000.”

He raised in excess of $12,000 and completed the swim in 11 hours 13 minutes.

“It was quite painful. The first couple of hours were okay, but the next nine were pretty grim. You’re just thinking about how you’ll feel at the end.” Still, he puts the event down as one of his life highlights.

One of Hamish’s career highlights was a solo exhibition of his UK pop icon portraits in the UK in 2019. He is planning a new solo exhibition of his own art in Tasmania next year.

This article featured in the monthly eNews Alumni and Friends. If you are a member of the University of Tasmania community and would like to receive this publication, please provide or update your email address.

Image: Hamish Hall

Published on: 09 Nov 2022 1:41pm