Located in the middle of Rozelle, Artspark is a sun-filled art and sewing studio with an eco-friendly garden. The garden has many edible plants, and is home to three chickens and two guinea pigs. A perfect place to relax, play, and source materials for projects, the garden also gives students the opportunity to tend to plants, and learn how to associate with animals in kind ways.
Artspark provides school term classes, holiday workshops, weekend parties and events, and adult art & sewing classes. Our classes and workshops use recycled materials, and various art methods and mediums, such as collage, paint, found materials, papier-mâché sculpture, and drawing media. Many of our projects focus on learning from nature, and use a STEAM approach. We believe art-making is a valuable tool for self expression and gaining independence.
Artspark has had several different owners over the years, and each has brought something special to the studio. Artspark was first established in 2004 by artist Jane Lancaster. Artists Diane Vukelic and Jessi Alexander-Head expanded the studio to its current location and began offering sewing classes between 2008 and 2012. Sandrine Lonchampt, a photographer and architect, took over Artspark in May 2012. She added the unique eco-garden and its animals to the studio. ChiChi Bracken and Natalie Morel-Lewis joined the managing team in July 2013. ChiChi is the present owner. This quote from sculptor Churyo Sato speaks to her approach to creativity:
“ The purpose of artmaking is not to draw a good picture or make things with well-formed line.
Draw the things you see carefully and make the things you think with your heart.
Then you will understand how wonderful nature is and what kind of person you want to become –
That is the purpose” – Churyo Sato (“To person who will read this book,” Art for Children 1, 1980)
Our Creative Team
Artspark is a love story growing with many creative forces. What makes Artspark even more special is that we have a wonderful team of teachers
ChiChi started to sew from a young age. Graduating from a design school, she worked as a designer in Tokyo. Upon moving to Australia, she sold her original works through markets, shops and galleries. ChiChi appreciates craftsmanship rather than automated systems. She loves to incorporate reflections of her life in her works.
Nicki is a qualified Visual Arts teacher who loves to impart knowledge and engage children creatively. She also practices photography, drawing, painting and writing in her spare time. Nicki’s two little boys have attended Artspark over the years with Jessi, Lucia and Sandrine, which gave her the opportunity to become one of the teaching tribe. She feels the warmth and buzzing nature of Artspark is truly lovely to be a part of.
As a child, Taja loved to figure out how things were made – from garments, to furniture, to machines – by examining them from the inside. She grew up in a family where craftsmanship and education were valued, with parents who were teachers, a grandmother who was a seamstress, and a grandfather who was a carpenter. She went on to study fashion and textiles at the University of Zagreb. In Croatia and Italy, she worked in fashion design, textile design and production, and government. After moving to Australia and starting a family, she eventually began to teach sewing at Artspark. Family and nature are important parts of her life, and she loves getting to share the exciting process of learning to design and sew with children and adults at Artspark.
Cecilia has a background in fashion, print, graphic design and fine arts. She studied Fashion Design at East Sydney Tech and Fine Arts at Julian Ashton Art School. Cecilia has exhibited paintings in group shows, mostly inspired by dreamscapes and the fantastic. She is also a surface print designer, working with international clients on designs for garments, accessories, and home décor. She loves to explore all forms of art, craft and textiles. Cecilia is passionate about encouraging children to express their own unique voices and hearts through art, and to cultivate a curiosity and interest in the wide world around them.