Jasmin and Emily: Withers Art Studio and Beyond

This is a story about patience. It’s a story about courage, and it’s a story about the amazing things that can happen when the stars align.

Back in 2015, two young artists were referred to the Art Partners program. These two artists had never met before, and they were referred separately and at different times.

They each came for preliminary art sessions so we could get to know them just a little. We could see their potential from their portfolios and from what they achieved during their sessions.

One of our young artists at the GTM scrim. Photo by Rob Cox

One of our young artists at the GTM scrim. Photo by Rob Cox

However, we had no concrete idea of how to support them to go forth and expand on their arts practice.

The year drew to a close, Christmas came, and 2016 began.

After a patient wait, the lucky break finally came at the end of February. The City of Bunbury had launched an initiative called Withers Art Studio.  Kelly Darragh was the Artist in Residence, and was offering a spirit animal illustration workshop.  The workshop was full, but thankfully a second one was on offer.

Our other young artist at the GTM scrim. Photo by Rob Cox

Our other young artist at the GTM scrim. Photo by Rob Cox

We suggested this activity to our two young artists, and they were both keen. Thus, that’s when this amazing journey began:  Monday, February 22 with Kelly at Withers Art Studio.

But, first, before we take you away with us, special thanks to our photographers who have generated these gorgeous images: Rob Cox of oxy images and Sandra Nysten.

Meet the Artists: Jasmin Engstrom and Emily McLean

We arranged formal portrait sessions with photographer Rob who visited both artists in their respective homes. Here’s Jasmin Engstrom at her desk where she does much of her creating.

Here’s what Jasmin’s says about her art-making: “Art makes me feel calm, relaxed and like I am able to do anything.”

This is Emily McLean with a work in graphite pencil, and in her favourite position on the bar stool.

As for Emily’s thoughts on her practice: “Art makes me feel free and relaxed. It is also how I express my emotions, but mostly it is just fun.”

Spirit Animal Illustration

Beautiful outcomes were achieved in the spirit animal illustration workshop led by Kelly at Withers Art Studio. Here’s Emily’s Pretty (sharpies) complete with Korean script.

Pretty by Emily McLean. Photo by Rob Cox

Pretty by Emily McLean. Photo by Rob Cox

This is Jasmin’s acrylic Galaxy Wolf.

Galaxy Wolf by Jasmin Engstrom. Photo by Rob Cox

Galaxy Wolf by Jasmin Engstrom. Photo by Rob Cox

Ping Pong Table

Following on from their fabulous experience with spirit animals, Jasmin and Emily were invited to collaborate with Kelly on the next Withers Art Studio project: executing Kelly’s watermelon-themed design on a ping pong table in Maidens Reserve.  Over three sessions (March 9, 10 and 11) the trio met after school, and brought the table to life with vibrant acrylics.

The Social Network

The stars were indeed aligned and the first joint exhibition opportunity for Emily and Jasmin was The Social Network youth arts exhibition at the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries (BRAG) as part of the Shift 2016 youth festival. They both created and entered works (courage required here) which addressed The Social Network theme.

This is Emily’s Friendship (sharpies).

Friendship by Emily McLean. Photo editing by Rob Cox

Friendship by Emily McLean. Photo editing by Rob Cox

Here is Jasmin’s Kill Self Confidence with Social Media (graphite pencil) for which she won an age-category prize at opening night on April 8. The judges had this to say:  “Her work was a thoughtful and evocative representation of the risks inherent in our increased reliance on social media and the negative impacts on young people in our community.”

Kill Self Confidence with Social Media by Jasmin Engstrom. Photo editing by Rob Cox

Kill Self Confidence with Social Media by Jasmin Engstrom. Photo editing by Rob Cox

Diverging

The paths of the young artists also diverged and they tried a few activities without the pleasure of each other’s company.

Jasmin enrolled in a four-week modern mixed media class in March led by Denise Ladhams at the Stirling Street Arts Centre (SSAC). Jasmin was prolific and created these two mixed media works along with Wolverine (coming up below).

Emily attended a banner-design workshop (April 11) at BRAG led by Michele Grimston and created a graphite pencil work which is being consolidated with other contributions to create the banner design (not yet unveiled). She also participated in the Groovin the Moo Sisters Cities Art Project (theme of Interstellar) led by Charlotte White at SSAC.  Emily created an acrylic which was Highly Commended by the judges who said: “Love the prominence of the Bunbury Tower and play on scale that has been used.”

Dardanup Art Spectacular

Emily and Jasmin both entered work (more courage required) in the Dardanup Art Spectacular and attended the opening night alongside family members at the Dardanup Hall on April 29.

This is Emily’s beautiful A Seascape (pastel).

A Seascape by Emily McLean. Photo by Rob Cox

A Seascape by Emily McLean. Photo by Rob Cox

Here are Jasmin’s two entries: Wolverine (mixed media) and Dragon Flight (watercolour with graphite pencil).

Second Public Art Project: Grooving the Moo

The duo rounded out their recent parallel adventures by attending workshops for the Groovin the Moo Scrim Art Project led by Dee Mosca at SSAC. They created designs for the theme of Interstellar.  Then, alongside other artists, the duo executed their designs (May 6) on the scrim adjacent to the artists’ entrance to the venue’s backstage area.

What a Journey!

Thus far, it’s lookin’ pretty amazing for Jasmin and Emily. With patience while we waited for an ideal activity, combined with an ongoing alignment of the stars and a healthy dose of courage mixed in, the possibilities proved to be endless.

Wanting More?

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At Art Partners, we love to get things just right. If something’s out of place in the above post, let us know right here.

42 thoughts on “Jasmin and Emily: Withers Art Studio and Beyond

    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much Rob for all your efforts with capturing most of these images for this post! What an amazing journey. Thanks for being part of it!

      Reply
  1. Lisa Engstrom

    Thank you to Wanda and Art Partners for the amazing opportunities that they constantly bring. Very proud of the girls and all they have achieved.
    This is an amazing organisation to be involved in. Thank you so much.
    Keep creating!
    Also: thanks Rob for liking my work and believing in me… From Jasmin.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks Lisa. It’s great to have Jasmin and the Engstrom chreering squad on our side! Yes, great work by both girls, and the entire creative team of Kelly, Dee, Charlotte, Denise, Michele, Rob…

      Reply
  2. Lisa Engstrom

    Emily: Thanks for being my partner in crime painting. I love working with you.

    Loved working with you too Dee Mosca and thanks Rob for all the great photos!!

    Jas.. 😊

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks Jasmin for offering up a comment. We’re all super proud of this post. Thanks to you and Emily for being so energetic with your arts practice, and for agreeing to share it with the world.

      Reply
    2. Sandra Nysten

      Thanks, I loved working with you too and I can’t wait till next time 🙂 still think your zombie astronaut is amazing… Em 🙂

      Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks Helen for stopping by and for your early involvement with both Jasmin and Emily in 2015! What wonderful outcomes they have both achieved.

      Reply
  3. Denise Ladhams

    It was a real pleasure working with Jasmin in the Modern Mixed Media Class at SSAC. She really pushed herself to get messy and be more spontaneous, to trust that something would come out of her art without forcing it. I really enjoyed having her in the class and her feedback and her contribution was greatly appreciated! What a special artist we have in her! Look forward to working with her again. Congratulations Jasmin!

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Great to hear from you Denise. We are so pleased that Jasmin participated in your four-week class and produced such amazing outcomes. We hope you will be tutoring again sometime soon! Please stay in touch.

      Reply
  4. kellydarragh

    Um. Wow!!!! You have achieved so much in such a short time Emily and Jas!!! Seriously epic work in every single photo and I’m sure there’s more too 🙂

    I feel very privileged to have been able to work alongside you both earlier this year, and look forward to collaborations happening when I do a visa run later in the year 😀

    I seriously cannot wait to see what’s next for the both of you, you inspire me so much.

    High fives from India

    Kel

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks Kelly for staying in touch – especially given the great distance that separates us! It’s great that Jasmin and Emily were able to participate in the spirit animal illustration workshop which did get the ball rolling for them in terms of their parallel journeys. Stay in touch and see you soon!

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Eaton Community College » Congratulations Jasmin Engstrom!!

  6. Art Partners Post author

    I get goosebumps reading this. I am so so happy for Jasmine. She is an absolute credit to you and Wade and most of all to herself for all the hard work she has put in. I can only see great things for her in the future xxx (posted to Facebook by Tash Tysco, May 16)

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks Tash for your lovely words. It had been a long and sometimes challenging journey for Jas but she is very talented and we are proud of the amazing young lady she has become. I am very excited for the future too. Xx (posted to Facebook by Lisa Engstrom in response to Tash Tysco, May 16)

      Reply
  7. Art Partners Post author

    Wow Emily!!!! You were always going to shine, what a superstar!!!! Thanks for commenting on this Marg so I got to see it (posted to Facebook by Annabelle Otterburn, May 17)

    Reply
  8. kathymarris

    Bravo Emily and Jasmin for pursuing their dreams! They look as if they are going places thanks to the support of the art community. That seascape is gorgeous. I could easily hang that on my wall.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks for stopping by Kathy. It looks like our two young artists have had a terrific time on this journey. Great feedback on Emily’s seascape. She will be so pleased to hear from you.

      Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much for staying in touch Johanna! You’ll have to visit Maidens Reserve to see the ping pong table when you’re finished sailing the high seas!

      Reply
  9. Linda Fairbairn

    Fabulous what can be done with encouragement, motivation and focus –
    The girls are going great guns!
    Now to keep the eye of the ball… which could be interesting on that gorgeous watermelon ping pong table! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Great to hear from you Linda! Yes, keeping an eye on the ball might prove a touch tricky. And, by the way, if you’re ever in our corner of the world, you will surely have to give it a try. Last time I was there, I did notice a container with paddles and balls. So, you’d be all set!

      Reply
  10. BRAG WA

    It’s been a pleasure working with both these talented young women over the past months. Great to see so much support for your talent in our community too!

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much BRAG! It’s been great that there have been so many opportunities for the two of them. BTW: we’re looking forward to hearing about any outcomes from the banner project. We’ll be watching.

      Reply
  11. budgettraveltalk

    Our daughter is an artist and I know how much courage is required to exhibit your work. I love the final view of the ping pong table. I felt an immediate connection to Emily’s spirit animal and loved the mixed media work by Jasmin. Inspiring story.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks for your inspired comment budgettraveltalk. I know that Jasmin and Emily will appreciate hearing your positive feedback. Best wishes to your daughter for her art and to you for your travels!

      Reply

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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