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Community has always been a passion for our Art teacher Peter Zylstra and so it is not surprising that as part of his role with us he is bringing in artists in residence from the community.

Valerie Barron has a pottery studio in the Swan Valley and is a member of Guildford Potters.  She also mentors artists at the DADAA in Midland. At Treetops, Val demonstrated various hand-building techniques and clay throwing on the wheel.

Many of the students took a keen interest in the wheel, and will be able to teach these skills to other students since both primary and secondary students will be working in clay this term. At Montessori schools, peer assistance is recognized as a valuable teaching technique since it utilizes the precise language and experience of the student who is learning.  Students of all ages will have the opportunity to use clay in the specialist art room and fire on site in our kiln.

Canadian born, Peter himself is now a local, having moved to Darlington with his young family. His own specialisations are painting, drawing, printmaking, photography and art history so he tends to go outside these areas when bringing in the local art community.

Last term we benefited from an incursion with another known name in the Darlington, and indeed worldwide, art community, Guy Ben-Ary, who creates performance art through merging Art and Science. Artists and volunteers from Mundaring Arts Centre helped Treetops students to create the impressive Shire of Mundaring Annual Christmas Tree on Great Easter Highway.

This term at our Treetops Street Festival, local artist Hardey McMurrick will again be teaching performance art through his highly entertaining acts and workshops.

Soon students will be off on the annual visit to Sculptures by the Sea and this year Peter will include a visit to an exhibition of Aboriginal Art at The Goods Shed.