I took my sceptical self to the VCA Open Day, and was most impressed by what I saw. Having already visited MADA, and RMIT, I thought my mind was firmly made up, as to where I might hope to continue my further study.
A brand new ceramic and sculpture facility mightily impressed, as did the Painting studios. Whilst not expansive, they boasted good natural light, due to the beamed and skylight, old factory ceilings.
The model of mixing in all year levels together, appealed, offering fostering, and cross pollination of ideas. The 9 to 5 work ethic, promoting a 40 hour working week of studio practice, struck a cord in this old proletariats heart.
I freely conversed with a sculpture student, an administrator, an academic, a lecturer, a painting teacher and an artist, John Campbell, one of my favourite Australian painters. I garnered factual information, insider tips for interview, and appreciated the positive, can do attitude. It gave me much to think about, and contemplate, and I admit I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw, who I met, and how it takes its place as a valuable training facility, in the visual arts field.
To complete my plan of further visual arts training in 2016, it will be necessary for me to deftly negotiate the VTAC site, surmount my growing horror in an interview situation, amass my huge body of work, and retrace my steps back to Southbank aka South Melbourne, the familial home of my misspent youth. The VCA is housed in the old factory where I began my working life as a staff clerk at Telecom Workshops. I can stride through the old costing area, above the sheet metal workshop and know that 35 years later I have made a triumphant return feeling more at home with a paintbrush in my hand, than I did with a P66, and an annual leave bonus.