RIPLEY Valley State Secondary College students put their pens aside for paintbrushes for a new art
program at Ripley Town Centre.
The six-week program saw students in Years 8-10 bring to life three beehives under the tutelage of professional artist Lisa Kelly.
For Ms Kelly, art is a healing form of expression; it can serve as a break from stress.
“Empowering the students to create, share their stories and express themselves provided a wonderful opportunity for their own self-development as artists and people, and to help them to be leaders and help others,”
Ms Kelly said. “They are incredibly inspiring and the beehives are a cohesive and delightful set of works that the students can be proud of.”
Participants contributed to the beehive project even as they learnt learning about the importance of pollinators and their role in supporting the Ripley region’s biodiversity.
The beehives feature alongside colonies of native bees and honeybees that were introduced to the town
centre in partnership with Bee One Third.
College guidance officer Janet Ingram said the program had revealed a very real and practical sense of
“Through the art program, our students had a unique opportunity to connect with other local community
members and mentors, strengthen their sense of belonging, and learn new art skills and techniques,” she
“In this space, they showed confidence and we saw them at their very best,” Ms Ingram added.
“Of particular interest to the college and Ripley Town Centre was the concept of ‘flow’ as a method of increasing happiness and satisfaction and being completely present in the moment. This was a key focus of the art program and hugely beneficial to the students’ mental wellbeing.”
“We would like to thank Ripley Town Centre and Lisa Kelly for this amazing experience. We look forward
to working with them again in the future.”
The beehives were installed in Satoyama Way, the centre’s open-air thoroughfare.
“The beehives will help to facilitate an enhanced connection with community,” the centre’s Project Director, Taku Hashimoto said.
“We’re thrilled the art program empowered students in addition to (helping) centre visitors learn about the
role of bees in the broader ecosystem.”