A SPECIAL exhibition featuring the art work of students of Bendigo Senior Secondary College Netschool was opened on Wednesday night by Labor MP Maree Edwards.
Netschool mentor Kat Andrews said the collection of photographs, drawings and paintings was the work of 17 students.
“The students discussed ideas for the exhibition and were pretty unanimous in coming up with a black and white theme, with a hint of colour,” Ms Andrews said.
“They attended art classes every Friday and have been working extremely hard.
“They’ve absolutely loved the whole idea of the exhibition and getting their art work ready.
“One of the students did the catering for the opening night, preparing treats such as mini quiches, cup cakes and chocolate rumballs.” Ms Andrews said the black and white theme allowed the students flexibility with their art work.
“Some of the art work reflects the students’ interests such as skate boarding and other students, such as Mikayla, have chosen to reflect social issues,” she said.
“They’ve also learnt new skills such as photoshopping while working for the show.”
Mikayla Roberts, 18, said her work, We are not the Future was a statement about how some adults criticise children but at the same time neglect the planet.
The Netschool has had an annual exhibition for the past four years.
“It was the original idea of one of our students who suggested that an art exhibition would be a good way for students to express themselves and display their work,” Ms Andrews said.
“That particular boy certainly built up his self-esteem while he was with us and did very well.”
The Netschool, which is in Williamson Street, is for students between 15 and 19 who have difficulties learning in a mainstream school.
Mentors work closely with students at the Netschool with the aim of reconnecting them back to their original schools.
The school has an 80 per cent reconnection rate, which has been consistent over the past four years.
“A few of the students were hesitant about showing their work because they are shy but their enthusiasm and confidence grew as we got closer to the opening night,” Ms Andrews said.
“It’s been a very satisfying experience for them.”
The Netschool exhibition is on display in the St John of God atrium.