ART and music will teach children the story of the region’s indigenous heritage this week at the Warrnambool Art Gallery.
About 250 primary school pupils and kindergarten children from Warrnambool, Koroit, Allansford, Nullawarre and Hamilton are visiting the gallery for Education Week to learn about Aboriginal culture and history through a range of exhibitions and activities.
Starting yesterday, the one-hour sessions include painting on river rocks, a history talk from indigenous elder Rob Lowe, music and dance from Brett Clarke, as well as exploring the meanings of symbols and viewing Aboriginal artworks and artefacts.
Gallery education officer Margaret Sinnott said the Education Week program would help broaden the children’s knowledge and cultural understanding in an entertaining and interactive way.
“Students will meet and talk to an Aboriginal artist, participate in art activities and learn about Aboriginal artworks and items,” she said.
“We have had a tremendous response to the workshops as many schools are studying Aboriginal art during term two.”
Items from the gallery’s museum collection are on display, including a possum skin cloak and stone tools, along with indigenous artworks featured in the temporary exhibition Jus’ Drawn: The proppaNOW Collective.
Florence Collins Kindergarten teacher Sally Schintler said their 13 children were among the first to visit for Education Week.
“They do painting at kinder but this gives them a different cultural experience,” she said.
“They’ll go home with a bit of knowledge about indigenous culture.”