Barbara Nell is right back where she wanted to be but this time in it's in her own space.
The longtime art teacher found just the right place to pass on her vast experience to a wide variety of students. In February she took up digs at the rear of 205 Auburn Street, Goulburn in a "light, bright, north facing space" perfect for her purposes.
The result is Creative Space where Mrs Nell teaches up to 40 students each week. They range from adults returning to the craft, people with special needs, those on the Right to Work program and even pre-school children.
"It is diverse and growing," Mrs Nell said.
"(Their work) just blows me away. I've been wanting to do this for a while because it's about connecting people to that thing they left behind and was buried by life's demands. It reminds people that they have it there just waiting to be harnessed. When people come along they just want to keep going.
"That mental stimulation is very important. When COVID hit, many people were isolated. I'm trying to access people who need support and almost 40 years of teaching does that."
Mrs Nell said it was a "powerful sense of validation" when students saw their work on the wall.
On Friday evening, Creative Space is staging an exhibition of their art from 5pm to 7pm. Titled A Winter Celebration, it will include a wide variety of mediums and subjects. Refreshments will also be served.
The art teacher couldn't be prouder. Mrs Nell started teaching in her twenties, firstly at the former Marian College. She returned there part-time after having children and later taught at Mulwaree and Goulburn High Schools.
"But this is my passion because I'm teaching adults and people with special needs and those who need support," she said.
Classes range from 'small things in clay,' to lino printing, fabric dyeing and printing, painting inspired by women painters, watercolours and acrylics and more.
Creative Space is also offering 90-minute 'taster classes' using the State $25 'discover vouchers.
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