Blogs (Media Centre)

Art of learning: Terri brushes up on her skills thanks to TAFE NSW


17 January, 2019


For Terri Friesen, art has the power to make her find herself and lose herself all at the same time.

A retired Albury schoolteacher who spent decades helping instill a love of learning into children, Mrs Friesen decided on retirement she would invest further in her own passion for unique retro art.

Enter TAFE NSW. Already an accomplished artist, Mrs Friesen enrolled in an Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts at TAFE NSW Albury to extend her technical skills and learn more about the theory and business of art.

Just weeks after graduating in December last year, Mrs Friesen was offered an opportunity to exhibit her work at Albury’s GIGS Art Gallery and Studios. The exhibition, called Triple Impressions, will feature Mrs Friesen’s artwork alongside the works of two TAFE NSW classmates, Nia Jenkins and Kim Nelson Thomson, and will run from 22 January to 17 February.

Mrs Friesen said she was already seeing her TAFE NSW Advanced Diploma bear fruit.

“It really helped open my eyes to the business component of the art world and was a great opportunity to meet like-minded artists,” she said. “The teachers were excellent. They let you chart your own course but were always there to help if you were stuck.”

Mrs Friesen’s unique artwork is a type of reinvention, with the artist collecting vintage linen and textile fabric, and using stitching techniques to repurpose it and evoke a sense of nostalgia in the audience.

TAFE NSW Art and Design Teacher Mary-Jane Griggs said the popularity of the TAFE NSW Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts was reflective of a maturing jobs market in the arts sector.

New figures have revealed the “creative industries” are worth more than $90 billion to the nation annually, with the industry accounting for more than 6 per cent of total employment.

“The whole professionalisation of the arts has created so many jobs,” Ms Griggs said.

“Local government in particular is taking a lead role in establishing cultural policies and ensuring the local cultural scene is vibrant and it’s the TAFE NSW graduates  that are securing these positions. The sector has grown so much in recent years and there are scores of people now employed in the arts.”

Ms Griggs said TAFE NSW graduates have been employed in a wide range of roles, from education and research roles in art galleries to positions within local government.

The Diploma of Visual Arts explored techniques in painting, drawing, printmaking and 3D, she said, while also examining the work of the great artists.

The Advanced Diploma covers similar ground but expands to arm students with the industry knowledge and experience to be a practicing commercial artist.

To find out more about studying visual arts at TAFE NSW or to enrol for semester one 2019, phone 13 16 01 or visit

Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Media and Communications – Business Partner, 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428.