The McGregor Experience

Herewith are a few photos of the McGregor Experience.  The McGregor Summer School has been running for over forty years on the University of Southern Queensland campus, Toowoomba.  The school is now a very highly regarded ten day gathering of visual and performing arts. It is run through the USQ Artworx program.

With a full orchestra program and a multi-disciplined art program hundreds of people enjoyed the creative and learning atmosphere.  Chamber music concerts in the evening were a lovely distraction from the days teaching program.

This year my class was full with thirteen participants.

I set my classroom up "cafe style". I don't always do this. I judge the nature of the class then decide what will work best with what we are doing.  Cafe style allows for individuals to chat quietly while they work and easily share their materials if the theme warrants it.

The theme for this year's ten-day workshop was "purely pencils" and the "ampersand & other ligatures". I was excited to get out of bed everyday knowing I was going to play with pencils - and get paid for it! The "apmersands" on the other hand were seriously good fun in the illumination stakes, mystery and code cracking.

This is (a small part of) my desk, strewn with pencils, samples and deomonstration materials.

The calligraphy class show & tell tables on the final day.

It is wonderful for visitors to see a calligrapher at work. Susan Bradshaw pictured here was a real hit when she volunteered to demonstrate with Derwent watercolour pencils. The show & tell is of the participants work and is a great effort for some of them to demonstrate and talk about their work.  Most of the class hover around the tables discussing their & other's work with interested parties.

Shirley Gallagher's work - pen, ink & pencil

Susan Bradshaw's work - pencil

Trinkets for the class - graphite 2b water sketch pencil, with HB lead pencil and peircings

Linda Weil's class - Nature drawing, part only

Michael Winters' class - Painting, part only

Keith Lo Bue's class - found objects to make lettering for his class description.

The McGregor experience is not all serious art & performances. Here is a couple who won the couples prize at the McGregor Masquerade Ball. Their names were In & Cognito written beautifully on their backs in a calligraphic hand.

Friends: Laurens Otto, Gemma Black & partner David Nuttall

Proof it can be done! Someone who shall remain nameless at present balanced three golf balls one 'atop the other. And there were witnesses!

A fun, hard work, and yet somehow exhausting experience was had by all.


ronnie said…
looks great! (sooooo was it wet this year? I thought everywhere in Q was under water ---- again!)
Gemma Black said…
Not wet this year Ronnie. The weather was perfect. Most of the rain came after we left - yippee!

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