Kaleidoscopes, conversation and hot cuppas

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Exhibition illustrates practical nature of communication projects

Brenton Stacey
Public relations officer
Avondale College of Higher Education
Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

It is a Sunday evening and all retailers bar the supermarkets and restaurants at Charlestown Square shopping centre are closed. Except for one shop on level two. Coffee Culture is hosting an exhibition of work by eight young artists. Organiser Sabrina Cruz, a final-year Bachelor of Arts student at Avondale College of Higher Education, is a regular and knows the manager—he has given the space for free.

Even the programs had an artistic bent at Sabrina Cruz’s Kaleidoscopes exhibition, held at Coffee Culture in Charlestown.
Credit: Luke Bacon.

Kaleidoscopes reflects Sabrina’s interest in event management and in visual arts. It not only serves as her communication project—the “capstone” unit “enables students to apply their knowledge of communication in real life,” says senior lecturer in communication and English Dr Carolyn Rickett—but also as an act of altruism. “As an artist myself, I know how intimating it feels to go into galleries,” says Sabrina.

The exhibition gives clothing company Sämo, illustrators Jimmy Carson, Marc Cruz, Sabrina and Emma Fagan and photographers Adam Crainean, Joshua Moses and Ashleigh Wrankmore a space to show their work in public. The quality of the work, the relaxed atmosphere in which it appeared and the number of people viewing it surprised supervisor Bruna Tawake. “The event exceeded my expectations.”

The lecturer in communication says the unit teaches students about the importance of understanding audiences, drafting clear objectives, consistency, creativity, organisation and self-discipline. “The multi-faceted projects become self-esteem boosters. The students learn they have the skills to ‘do this.’”

Sabrina agrees. She describes the experience as “invaluable” and, it seems, enjoyable. “You get to work on something you’re passionate about rather than on something you’re assigned.”