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"Who Am I"
Self-portrait School Program

Karoo PS
Karoo PS. 3
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Knox Leader Image article.png
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Connecting Students to Clay and to themselves.

Inspiring a New Generation of Sculptors: Adrian Ward's Journey

In the realm of art and education, the path to inspiration is often paved with the dedication of teachers, artists, and mentors who go above and beyond to ignite the creative flame within young minds. Adrian Ward, a seasoned sculptor with over two decades of experience, embarked on a remarkable journey that began with a simple visit to a school in the eastern suburbs. Little did he know that this encounter would lead to a profound transformation in the lives of countless students.

Adrian Ward's journey as an artist specializing in sculpture began at the prestigious VCA Melbourne University in 1995. Over the years, he honed his craft, creating intricate and captivating works of art that spoke volumes about the human experience. It was during a visit to a school where he first realized the gap in students' exposure to sculpture. While art teachers work tirelessly to provide a diverse range of artistic experiences, the constraints of a busy curriculum and tight timetables often limit the depth of knowledge that can be imparted.

However, Adrian's insight extended beyond the boundaries of art education. He observed a significant challenge that today's students face: the erosion of fine motor skills in the face of ever-increasing technological distractions. As technology continues to occupy a larger share of children's time, the development of essential skills like dexterity and creativity can take a backseat.

In response to these challenges, Adrian took it upon himself to bridge the gap and kindle the creative spirit of the next generation. He embarked on a mission to teach grade 5/6 students, introducing them to the intricacies of sculpture. But this was no ordinary art class. Adrian chose to challenge and expand their skills through one of the most complex and rewarding aspects of sculpture: self-portraiture.

The results were nothing short of astounding. Adrian was amazed by the self-portraits the students created. They approached the task with a rare and refreshing honesty, depicting themselves without the burden of adult expectations that often stifle the creative process. The classroom became a canvas for self-expression, a space where the boundless imagination of youth was unleashed.

Adrian Ward's journey is a testament to the power of education, art, and mentorship. His commitment to filling the void in students' artistic experiences and his dedication to nurturing their creativity serve as an inspiration to teachers and students alike. In the world of education, it's often the unexpected encounters that spark the brightest flames of inspiration. Adrian Ward's journey is one such beacon, lighting the way for future generations of sculptors and artists.

The Portrait Classes.


"In the classes, I walk students through every aspect of their face details to be transformed into sculpture, while assisting the student that may be lagging behind." Adrian believes that no student should be left behind, at the same time, students need time to develop their artistic language.


Student knows how to make funny faces but the skill to make something from the real world takes real skill, skills that Adrian has learned to transfer to students, so they can really look and use their eye-hand coordination.


"I have refined teaching students, the nose, the eyes, the mouth, ears etc into a step by step process that can develop students ability for self-expression that creates a great end result." Says Adrian.


Also, Adrian gives students a healthy dose of sculptures art history while they are busy engaged in the process of creating.

Air Drying Clay.

Another important aspect of the classes is the Air Drying Clay. This specialized clay not only dries hard enough to paint but to be taken home and to last, as a record of the student's development at that age for prosperity.


Many schools have working kilns but to create this scale of portrait sculpture to be fired in clay would be impossible to achieve for so many students. It is not only possible but affordable in Air Drying Clay.


Other aspects of the classes cover Life Drawing and related art history as part of the course's curriculum.


The 8-11 week course offers an alternative educational process to the standard arts curriculum and is at the same time traditional sculpture practice.


Portraiture sculpture is a skill practiced by sculptors for thousands of years and for budding artists portraiture is the most powerful of artistic developmental journeys.

Fern Tree Gully PS Students Life Drawing,

from lesson one.

Eastwood PS Still Life Drawing, from lesson 2

Short course 8 weeks, full course 11 weeks.
The structure of the sculpture classes:

Week 1.

Drawing and Artist Talk.

Students will learn drawing techniques with a variety of still life subjects.

They will practice shading and using basic shapes to understand the building block of art used to understand the physicality of the world.

Week 2.
Armatures and tool making.

Students will assemble their armatures from prefabricated materials i.e. wood post and board, wire, foil, etc.

Students will also make their own tools from icy pole sticks.

Week 3-10.
Will be dedicated to modeling.

Students working under my instruction will learn comprehensive sculpting techniques from my many years of sculpting experience.

At the completion of modeling the portraits, the student will have the opportunity to paint their work with complete freedom of expression.

Week 11.
Students will finish and present their pieces.

to the class for review by their fellow students. An exhibition is also a possibility for all or selected works at a location at the school or council gallery space.

Karoo PS Completed works and winner of the Scorseby Primary School Art Prize. 2015-2017

Karoo PS
Karoo PS. 3
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Completed Works From Firbank Grammar Primary School Sandringham.


Completed Works From Fern Tree Gully North Primary School.
Ready for Exhibition.

Completed Works From Scorseby Primary School.
Ready For Exhibition.


Completed Works From Glendal Primary School.
Ready For Exhibition.

If you are interested in classes, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss any aspect of the
course and its availability.

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