Diploma students visit Collingwood galleries 2023

On a wet Tuesday morning in Melbourne, on the 16th of May 2023, my lovely illustration and fine art students, joined me in our annual Diploma pilgrimage to Collingwood where we visited the Australia Galleries and the Fox Galleries. At Fox we met their ‘artist in residence’ Nigel Sense (great surname) who went out of his way to talk to us about his life as an artist and of course his artwork.



After two years in lockdown, the Diploma of Visual Arts end-of-year exhibition returns ‘with a vengeance’ to the A-Space Gallery at Melbourne Polytechnic’s Preston campus. What a night it turned out to be. Simply outstanding. (See video clip below).

The students from both the Illustration stream (ILLUSTRE) and the students from the fine art painting and printmaking streams (EPOCH) joined forces for the first time to set-up a visual extravaganza which was truly a feast for the eyes. On show was artwork a diverse range of creative disciplines such as painting, drawing, etching, lino-cut printing, digital art, illustration and design. And to think, this year the students had less time to produce their exhibition pieces (the exhibition normally takes place in November). Wow – that is astonishing!

On behalf of the Visual Arts department, I’d like to thank all the talented and hardworking students from the Diploma of Visual Arts, especially Amy Wickham and Eilish Driver who went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that this year’s show was one of the best ever. Special thanks to Nick Thorley for his technical help. The man is a legend. Thank you to Kat, Stephen and Maddie for their kind assistance on the night and to my wonderful colleagues Warren, Neil, Jodi, Kirsten, Sean, Bill, Angela and Helen for all their help and support in Semester 2 and this week.

Thank you to Anastasia Kotsapavlides and John Puli for their kind patronage and to all our wonderful sponsors including: Wacom Australia, Imagescience, Deans Art, Eckersley’s, Firestation Print Studio, Hardie Grant, Books Illustrated, Illustrators Australia, Jacky Winter Group, Regent Gallery, Hawkers Brewery. Thank you also to our professional art and industry representatives, Andrew, Rebecca, Lara, Declan, Louella and Kari, who helped to judge this year’s exhibition.

Special thanks to poster art legend, Ken Taylor for being our special guest speaker (see video of his speech below).

Congratulations to all our award winners:


Rose Story for Outstanding Painting Student Award, sponsored by Deans Art. Nil Vasen for Outstanding Printmaking Student Award,  sponsored by Firestation Print Studio. Julia Mackie for the Painting Achievement Award,  sponsored by the Visual Arts Department. Brooke Perkins for the Printmaking Achievement Award,  sponsored by the Visual Arts Department. Sue Williams for Best Body of Work,  sponsored by Regent Gallery. Ruth Wein for the Creative Practice Development Award, sponsored by John Puli. Nix Berry for the Creative Practice Development Award.  sponsored by John Puli. Jocelyn Dexter and Heidi Tyrell for the Adam & Stathi Kotzapavlidis Memorial Award, sponsored by Anastasia Kotzapavlidis. Julia Mackie for the Packing Room Prize, sponsored by the Visual Arts Department.

Madelyn Yates for Best Children’s Book Illustration, sponsored by Hardie Grant. Amy Wickham for Best Traditional Media 1, sponsored by Books Illustrated. Madelyn Yates for Best Traditional Media 2, sponsored by Eckersley’s. James Lynch for Best Digital Work 1, sponsored by WACOM Aust. Lucas Vandali for Best Digital Work 2, sponsored by Imagescience. Tong Woon for Cutting Edge Illustration, sponsored by Deans Art. James Lynch for Best Individual Work on Show, sponsored by the Jacky Winter Group. Toon Woon and James Lynch for Best Body of Work on Show, sponsored by Illustrators Australia Eilish Driver for the Special Consideration Award, sponsored by the Visual Arts Department at Melbourne Polytechnic.

Con’s video walk-through
Ken Taylor’s speech

BUMP IN PHOTOS – 13 September 2022