FORREST artist Amida Jones-Vermeend says creativity comes in many forms.
“I look at everything with a creative eye, so for me it doesn’t matter if its theatre, performance art, photography, films, paintings or sculptures – it’s all about expression,” she said.
Jones-Vermeend has exhibited her sculptures and paintings across Colac and district and owned an art gallery in Colac’s Murray Street in 2003.
“My mum is an artist so art has always been a huge part of my life,” she said.
“I do a lot of sculptures and mixed-media pieces, but I’ve also studied puppetry and costume design so I love the theatrics of everything,” she said.
“At the beginning of last year I started studying with Salvina Conti at the Forrest campus of South West TAFE, and it’s been absolutely fantastic,” she said.
“You’re always learning and developing new skills and that’s what it’s about.”
Jones-Vermeend said she hoped to teach children art as well as exhibit her own work.
“I think it’s important to foster children’s creative sides because that will help them in so many aspects of their lives,” she said.
“A lot of people don’t take art seriously because they don’t think it can be a serious profession, but art is the foundation of so many professions, and if children can draw and create then they can do well in anything from maths to science.
“I teach art to my three kids and they love it – while I was doing my sculpture they were sitting around me drawing the sculpture themselves.”
Jones-Vermeend said Colac had the potential to become an arts hub.
“Colac is a beautiful town and it is surrounded by a rich artistic culture but it’s still pretty scarce when it comes to community art spaces,” Jones-Vermeend said.
“It’s starting to develop, especially with the new Red Rock theatre and gallery, but there’s still so much more that could be done right in Colac,” she said.
“There could be public art, sculptures in the beautiful botanic gardens and a space that is conducive to community art.
“The more we start to make arts a focus the better it will be.”