Cranleigh School’s Artshow in Holt is an eclectic mix of works, alive with colour, many different media and bargains to be purchased to support the school’s fundraising. From the ‘Artisan’s Gallery’ of jewellery, silversmithing, handbags, very cute baby bootees and bows galore for the littlest princesses, to the main gallery of work from recognized artists from the Artists Society of Canberra who wholeheartedly support this fundraiser and the students art too. And weren’t they proud.
In art so many of Cranleigh’s children find a medium for expression. In the school, encouragement and support gives them all the best possible school experience and the care and attention required. And Cranleigh is as much about the community and local support as it is about finding the best stimulation for kids with needs outside the mainstream.
This is a popular event and finding a car park was as bad as at the NGA for an opening!
And we who come as visitors are enriched by what is achieved, inspired by the way families with kids with a disability cope with the day to day and are hopeful the fundraising target is reached to begin to transform the school hall - on exhibition opening it is a wonderful gallery space - into a sensory gym. A place to squeeze through giant socks, climb and fall to understand spatial aspects and find stimulation classrooms can’t have. Described by Principal Greg Wagg as providing an open door approach for children whose access to life experiences are often a closed door.
With Ian Sharp holding court in the foyer as ‘artist temporarily in residence’, sketching happily and the always enthusiastic Alex Sloan doing her look and learn reccy of the galleries before officially opening the exhibition with acknowledgment of the Capital Chemist support and the “hard, bloody hard, but absolutely fantastic job” done by the parents of these students with a resounding cheer for them, from us all, it was a night to admire and be aware, very aware of the needs and the achievements of the 145 children at Cranleigh School.