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Curtin Artists-in-Residence (AiR Program)

2024 Placements in Visual Arts, Drama and Media are now being planned. Come Join Us!

About the AiR Program:

The AiR program has operated at Curtin via the School of Education since 2016 and annually places student artists from School of Media Creative Arts and Social Inquiry and School of Education in WA primary schools in Term 3 of the school year. The artists work in partnership with teachers and students on a special art project beyond the scope of the standard curriculum. Most residencies are within visual arts, but there have been some projects in media and also drama disciplines.

Kensington Primary, local flora/fauna mural, 2021

The projects have a duration of around 30-40 hours, are collaboratively designed and executed with the students and their Generalist Teacher. An increasing number are in remote/rural settings in partnership projects involving Curtin AiRs, Indigenous Elders and high Indigenous student numbers.

Mullewa DHS, Mural, 2018. Indigenous student mural in partnership with local Elders/community .

To date there have been more than 60 placements involving 1100 children working on Arts projects ranging from Murals, to Ceramic Sculpture Gardens, Glasswork, Claymation/Animation, Drama Productions and more.

Perth College, AiR ‘Mini-E’ Performance Project, 2021

Beckenham Primary, Printmaking ‘Great Waves’, 2018

For our Schools: Interested in participating in 2024? Wonderful! Please download the School Information Letter for details and send your EoI to Lisa or Mark.

For our Artists: Expressions of Interest have been received from the following schools to host a placement this year. Please select one or two you like and send your profile to Lisa/Mark for matching with school availability.

  • Balmay Primary, Cloverdale. Visual Arts Residency. Mural – local flora/fauna
  • Bull Creek Primary, Bull Creek. Visual Arts Residency. Mural – local flora and fauna.
  • Calista Primary, Calista. Visual Arts Residency. Mural – Noongar seasons
  • Caversham Primary, Caversham. Visual Arts Residency. Mural — theme TBC
  • MATCHED…Chuchlands Primary, Churchlands. Visual Arts Residency. Mural or Sculptural installation
  • Dalwallinu District High School, Dalwallinu. Visual Arts Residency. Mural based on students Warhol Prints. (450 students) *** Curtin funded travel stipend available. Accommodation provided by school.
  • MATCHED …Dowerin District High School. Visual Arts Residency. Large scale ground Mural installed at entrance to Dowerin Field Days oval (major event which annually attracts 20,000 visitors). *** Curtin funded travel stipend available. Accommodation provided by school.
  • MATCHED…East Kenwick Primary, Visual Arts Residency. Sculpture project – yr 2/3
  • MATCHED… Forrestfield Primary, Forrestfield. Visual Arts Residency. Mural – local flora/fauna
  • Lakelands Primary, Lakelands. Visual arts Residency. Mural – Yr 6 Graduation theme
  • Mundijong Primary, Mundijong. Visual Arts Residency. Mural – local flora/fauna. *** Curtin funded partial travel stipend available.
  • MATCHED… Northcliffe District High School, Northcliffe. Visual Arts Residency. Mural – local flora/fauna. *** Curtin funded travel stipend available. Accommodation provided by school.
  • Perth Montessori School, Burswood. Visual Arts Residency. Ceramics installation.
  • Pheonix Primary, Hamilton Hill. Visual Arts Residency. Mural – Yr 6 Graduation theme
  • Secret Harbour Primary, Visual Arts Residency. Mural on Transportable building.
  • Sorrento Primary, Sorrento. Visual Arts Residency. Mural – Noongar seasons
  • St John Bosco College, Piara Waters. Visual Arts Residency. Mural – theme TBC
  • Sutherland Primary, Dianella. Visual Arts Residency. Shipping Container Mural. (50 students)
  • Tambrey Primary, Karratha. Visual Arts Residency. Mural – theme developed with students. 700 students with aprox 30% Indigenous. *** Curtin funded travel stipend available. Accommodation provided by school.

NB: Travel stipends are available for AiRs who take a remote rural placement (e.g. Karratha or Dalwallinu). Billeting or accommodation provided.

Dalmain Primary, Ground Mural, 2018 Residency.

“Behind the Curtin” Podcast

The Curtin Artist in Residence Program was the recipient of the Curtin University Teaching Innovation and Excellence Award for 2023. We were proud to accept the award on behalf of the amazing artists and teachers and children in our AiR Program Placements. You can find out more about the AiR program by clicking on the Podcast button below.

Pictured left to right: Program Coordinators : Mark Parfitt, Rebecca Shillington and Lisa Paris with Curtin Vice Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne at the Awards Ceremony.

The Podcast reveals benefits experienced by this year’s Curtin artists, host teachers and children as Program Coordinators Lisa Paris and Mark Parfit reflect on the journey thus far and the pathway ahead. 

2023 AiR Placements:

  • Avonvale Primary, Northam
  • Bull creek Primary, Bull Creek;
  • Forrestfield Primary, Forrestfield;
  • North Cottesloe Primary, Cottesloe;
  • Paraburdoo Primary, Paraburdoo;
  • South Lake Primary, South Lake;
  • Success Primary, Success.

Remote-Rural Spotlight: Avonvale Primary Mural Project 17-22nd July 2023

Generalist Teacher Lea and MCASI Artists Remy and Grace worked with a range of children at Avonvale Primary in Northam to produce a stunning mural depicting the beautiful Avon River and surrounding bushland. Host Teacher Lea observed:   Many of our learners from years 2 to 6 had the opportunity to meet the artists and to help with the design process and the painting. The mural has brightened the school beautifully and helped unite our community.The aim of the project was to create a landscape mural that celebrates the local flora and fauna as well as the community within the school. Depicting the Avon river and the lush greenery found along its bank as the background to the mural.

Remote-Rural Spotlight: Paraburdoo Primary Mural Project 17-22nd July 2023

Host Teacher Principal Caragh and MCASI Artists Taylor and Ross devised a project inspired by the local flora and fauna of significance to the Paraburdoo Primary community.  Host Caragh observed: My own teaching career was kickstarted by an AiR placement, so I was thrilled to facilitate a similar experience for students at the school that I lead. I appreciated how our  Artists,  Ross and Taylor considered the local community and environment in each stage of the project and then prioritised our students’ authentic contribution to the artwork. The community response to the artwork has been wonderful, particularly watching children bring their parents in to show them where they added their own little design to the mural. Paraburdoo Primary School from year groups 4 to 6 created a mural based on the local community and biodiversity of the surrounding area. The project was a hands-on interactive visual art experience that encouraged the children to express their own ideas about what their life in Paraburdoo is like. The focus was on a range of animals and flowers chosen by each class as their totem. For example, willy wag tail, magpie, crow, emu and eagle with flowers chosen from those found locally. The indigenous flag colours were used to express the school’s close connection to First Nations Culture and every child’s handprint conveys their experience of participating in the creation of the mural with pride in their accomplishment. 

Past Participants:

Alkimos Primary (2016) Hammond Park Primary (2018) North Kalgoorlie Primary (2017)
Atwell College (2018) Highgate Primary (2016) North Parmelia Primary (2016)
Australind Primary (2017) Holy Cross College (2017) Perth College (2021)
Balcatta Primary (2016) Jandakot Primary (2016) School of Isolated and Distance Education (2018)
Beckenham Primary (2016; 2018) Kensington Primary (2021) South Lake Primary (2021)
Beeliar Primary (2016; 2017; 2018) Kolbe Catholic College (2017) St Gerard’s Catholic (2017)
Brentwood Primary School(2019) Lakelands Primary (2016; 2018) St Luke’s Catholic Primary (2016)
Camboon Primary School (2017) Living Waters Lutheran (2017) St Maria Goretti Primary (2017)
CanningVale Pri (2016; 2017; 2018) Manning Primary (2018) St Stephen’s (2018)
Currumbine Senior High (2016) Merredin College (2017) Subiaco Primary (2018)
Dalmain Primary (2016; 2018) Mt Lawley Primary (2018) Tuart Hill Pri (2016; 2017; 2018)
Eden Hill Primary School (2017) Mt Lawley Senior High (2016; 2017) Victoria Park Primary (2017)
Eddystone Primary (2016; 2018) Mullewa District High (2017) Woodvale Primary School (2016)
Guildford Grammar (2016) Nth Cottesloe Primary (2016; 2018)

AiR Program Coordinators A/P Lisa Paris and Mr Mark Parfitt welcome enquiries from host schools at any time:
Contact Lisa via 0412 754 796
Contact Mark via