A local Aboriginal woman and TAFE NSW student has been named a finalist for a prestigious art prize for her work named ‘My Journey’. This inspiring student has now landed a dream job with the TAFE NSW team that supported her passion when she was an up-and-coming artist.
Juanita McLauchlan is a proud Gamilarray woman who resides on Wiradjuri Country and has had an exciting career as an emerging indigenous artist from being named a finalist in the respected Ravenwood Women’s Art Prize to winning the WAMA Arts Prize and going on to be awarded a regional arts grant to launch her own exhibit.
“I was so excited when I got the call to say I got the grant of $3,000 which is a lot of money for us. I used it for buying more art supplies, and to help move things on to the next stage and have my own exhibition” said Juanita.
Juanita specialises in printmaking and 3D works of art and she graduated with a Diploma in Visual Art and the Advanced Diploma in Visual Art from TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga before getting a job with the faculty who supported her during her studies.
Starting as a Student Juanita said, “I had Andy Totman and Mary Jane as printmaking gurus at TAFE NSW.”
TAFE NSW Art and Design Head Teacher Mary-Jane Griggs said “The Art and Digital media section of TAFE Wagga have supported Juanita through the Diploma in Visual Art and the Advanced Diploma in Visual Art.”
“Juanita has been able to use the printmaking facilities as a student and now as a staff member, Juanita was supported in developing her prizewinning sculpture in the TAFE NSW Art Award in 2020.”
“The popularity of the TAFE NSW Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts was reflective of a maturing jobs market in the arts sector.” Said Mary-Jane Griggs.
Reports show that NSW has 39% of Australia’s creative businesses and cultural and creative activity contributed $115.8 billion to Australia's economy in 2018–19.
Juanita has now secured employment as a TAFE NSW Technical Assistant in fine arts and ceramics and is helping new and emerging artists work towards their dream careers.
"It was TAFE NSW's great facilities and supportive teachers that made me take a jump and turn my passion into a career. I have achieved so much through TAFE NSW. I don't want to stop there, my next goal is to teach and pass on knowledge and help people who share my excitement and build their confidence in art”.
To find out more about studying a career pathways course at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au
Media contact: Callum Darby-Linfitt, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, 02 7920 5000 firstname.lastname@example.org