by bacblogarts

Image: Open Studio, by The Western

Winter Making

6 June to 2 September 2023
The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre

Get out and about and connect with your creative side with Winter Making.

Join some of our regular favourites and a suite of talented local artists for a jam-packed program of workshops and studio sessions across collage, drawing, zines and more.

Everyone is welcome to yarn with local First Nations Elders at Elders in Residence on Friday mornings. On Wednesdays, join 2023 Archibald Prize finalist and mentor Patrice Wills at Open Studio.

Want to try something new? Join artist Stan Florek for a special one-off Still Life Drawing workshop inspired by his exhibition Bread and Longing, and celebrate International Zine Month at a Zine Making workshop with we are the mainstream founder Priyanka Bromhead.

And kids, experiment with materials at a Storytelling through Collage workshop with artist Raneen Shamon presented alongside her exhibition Arabic Treasures.

See full Winter line up here.

Open Studio

Be a part of our thriving creative community at Open Studio!

Join 2023 Archibald Prize finalist and mentor Patrice Wills at our established Open Studio program. Patrice brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you develop your skills and support you with your individual projects.

Bring along an existing project or start something new in a welcoming, social, and supportive environment.

Now is the time to get involved, with participating artists boasting a growing list of achievements including Creative Arts Fund recipiencies, Blacktown City Art Prize finalist-picks, and recent group exhibitions From The Studio and Snapshot.

All experience levels are welcome

Ages 16+
Basic materials provided, canvas available for purchase.

Wednesdays, 7 June to 28 June, and 19 July to 30 August
10.30 am to 1.00 pm

Two women look at an iPad together
Image: Open Studio, 2022, courtesy Blacktown Arts

Elders in Residence

“If I could come to The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre every day, I would.”
– Uncle Wes Marne

Get to know local First Nations Elders Uncle Wes Marne, Uncle Greg Simms, Uncle Danny Eastwood and Uncle John Farrington on Friday mornings at Elders in Residence.

Acknowledging our place on Darug land, Elders in Residence is the place to connect with First Nations culture. Grab a cuppa and some damper, and have a yarn with these knowledge holders and valued members of the local community.

All welcome
Damper and beverages provided.

Fridays, 9 June to 30 June, and 21 July to 25 August
10.30 am to 12.30 pm

*Please note that sometimes our Elders have other commitments and, as such, who is present may change. You are welcome to contact us directly on 9839 6558 the week of your desired session to confirm who will be in attendance.

An elderly man beading with red, yellow, and black beads
Image: Uncle Wes by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia

Storytelling through Collage with Raneen Shamon

Kids, tell your story through collage with local artist Raneen Shamon.

Take a tour of Raneen’s exhibition Arabic Treasures and learn about the techniques and materials she uses in her own work.

Find out about the different types of collage, including paper collage, découpage, photomontage, and assemblage. Use second hand magazines, newspapers, books and other scrap materials to express yourself and create a colourful and unique artwork.


This workshop has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. Sign up to our mailing list to stay updated.

Visit The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre to check out Raneen’s solo exhibition Arabic Treasures until 1 July 2023.

Image: Collage by Raneen Shamon

Still Life Drawing with Stan Florek

Join local artist Stan Florek for a drawing workshop presented alongside his exhibition Bread and Longing.

Discover the expressive nature of materials like charcoal and pastels by experimenting with colour, form and composition and techniques including hatching, blending and stippling.

Be inspired by Stan’s body of work and explore methods of storytelling through art.

All experience levels are welcome.

Ages 16+
Materials provided.

Thursday 20 July
6 pm to 8 pm

Image: Stan Florek, courtesy of Blacktown Arts

Zine Making with Priyanka Bromhead

To celebrate International Zine Month, join writer, artist and we are the mainstream founder Priyanka Bromhead for a hands-on zine workshop.

Learn about the history and significance of zine-making, and work with Priyanka to develop your ideas into your own zine.

Your zine can be anything from a comic or short story to a cookbook or instruction manual, using a range of media including collage, writing and illustration.

All experience levels are welcome.

Ages 14+
Materials provided

Saturday 29 July
10.30 am to 1.00 pm

Image: Family Day, 2022 by Liza Moscatelli, Mosca Media Australia

Artist Bios

Patrice Wills has an extensive professional background working and training in visual arts, education, and health, traversing work in public arts programming. Patrice brings this life experience to her artistic practice which reflects on and explores the human condition and spirit.

Patrice is an award-winning artist and producer of the Blacktown Arts Open Studio program. Patrice’s work is exhibited regularly, and frequently selected as a finalist in art awards and accrued in private and public collections.

Image: Patrice Wills, courtesy the artist

Priyanka Bromhead is an eela thamizh writer, antidisciplinary artist and recovering teacher who lives and works on Darug land.

Priyanka has worked with young people across south west and western Sydney for fifteen years, having reclaimed curricula in English and HSIE classrooms.

Her experience within middle and high schools has since taken her into the tertiary system as an educational consultant, namely University of Technology and University of Newcastle on developing anti-caste and anti-racist teaching and learning experiences for young people and adults alike.

Priyanka is also an arts and cultural worker and has worked in various creative spaces leading community engagement strategies, facilitating arts initiatives and building cross-community solidarity. She is the lead facilitator of Reframing Autism’s Intersectional Advisory Committee.

Priyanka is committed to radical peace and radical love.

Image: Priyanka Bromhead by Kas

Raneen Shamon is a visual artist born in Iraq and based in Sydney, Australia. She studied Visual Arts at the University of Sydney and has been exhibited in several group shows, including Future Proof at Blacktown Arts, and Settled/Unsettled at Manly Art Gallery & Museum. She strives to connect with audiences and spark conversation about issues that inspire her art.

Image: Raneen Shamon, courtesy the artist

Stan Florek is a local Blacktown artist and archaeologist born in Poland. His practice has spanned many mediums including pastel on paper, printmaking and painting. In his recent work, Stan experiments with combining charcoal and oil paint on canvas. He greatly appreciates the formal qualities of an artwork, yet his work is almost always stimulated by and entangled in narratives.

Stan previously exhibited work in the Blacktown City Art Prize and has been involved with various Blacktown Arts programs including Open Studio. In 2019 Stan was a recipient of the Creative Arts Fund.

Image: Stan Florek, courtesy the artist

Uncle Greg Simms is a respected Aboriginal Community Elder of Mount Druitt and the greater western Sydney region, with ties to the Gundungurra (water dragon people) of the Blue Mountains and the Gadigal (whale people) of the Dharug nation.

Uncle Greg is an activist for reconciliation, a traditional woodcarver, a storyteller and an Aboriginal cultural educator. He always engages young people and Elders in his processes, championing intergenerational knowledge sharing and understanding. In December 2021, Uncle Greg received an Honorary Fellowship from Western Sydney University in recognition of his role as a leading educator of Aboriginal culture, and for his contribution to Western Sydney University.

Image: Uncle Greg, Elders in Residence by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia.

Uncle Danny Eastwood is descended from the Ngemba group of Western New South Wales. His mother came from Brewarrina and he was born and grew up in the Eora area of the Gadigal Nation. For the past 43 years, he has been a proud member of the Darug area of Western Sydney.

As a painter and cartoonist, he has produced numerous works which tell the story of his people and Country, including his contributions to Koori Mail over the last 30 years and his public art which can be found all over Sydney.

In 1992, Uncle Danny won the NSW NAIDOC Award. He shared the National NAIDOC Aboriginal Artist of the Year Award, receiving 1st prize in the NSW Parliament Award and the NAIDOC Poster Award in 1993. Uncle Danny is responsible for building and making the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial to honour Aboriginal service people at the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney.

Image: Uncle Danny, Elders in Residence by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia.

Uncle John Farrington was born in the town of Young, part of the Wiradjuri Nation, the people of the 3 rivers. He was taken to Sydney at the age of 9 along with his siblings and put into the custody of the NSW Government as a Ward of the State. He has lived and worked in Sydney since and connected with the people of the Dharug Nation as he struggled to find family, his roots, his identity and his connection to Country, which is now linked to the Gamilaraay People through his father.

Uncle John has been active in sharing his stories and experience through Dharug community meetings and gatherings. Through this space, he shares his remarkable life and his continual journey to find family and reconnect. He loves to share documents as well as photos that he has discovered on his quest for answers. Uncle John loves to meet people, tell them his stories and share his Culture, while highlighting and encouraging the strength and survival spirit that may help others to overcome the past.

Image: Uncle John, Elders in Residence by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia

Uncle Wes Marne AM is a Bigambul man and community elder who has lived in Mount Druitt for the past 45 years. He is a storyteller, poet and custodian of his grandfather’s Creation and Dreamtime stories.

Uncle Wes is a published author, and has toured his work at Sydney Festival (2016), Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival (2017), Way Out West Children’s Festival at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (2017), and recently he published Through Old Eyes (2022), his first book of poetry for his 100th Birthday. In December 2022, he received an Honorary Fellowship from Western Sydney University for service as an educator and champion of Aboriginal culture; an advocate for vulnerable young people and a pillar of the greater western Sydney community.

Uncle Wes comes from a long line of storytellers and has been working with children, primary and high schools, universities, gaols, social housing and justice to share his love of culture and stories throughout all the community.

Image: Uncle Wes, Elders in Residence by Eliya Cohen, Mosca Media Australia

Please note:

  • All materials are provided except for art smocks and aprons, so please consider bringing your own or wearing clothes that can get dirty if you’re a messy art maker!
  • No food or drink is currently available for purchase at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre. Feel free to bring your coffee or a snack while you are visiting The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.
  • Please note, Blacktown Arts does not facilitate private workshops for groups. If you would like to enquire about group bookings for Blacktown Arts programs, please contact us at artscentre@blacktown.nsw.gov.au
  • Click here to plan your visit to The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

Presented by Blacktown Arts with support from Blacktown City Council and the NSW Government through Create NSW.