Jan 13, 2017

January printmaking intensive- taster course starts next week

print by NADC graduate Elaine Watson

A wonderful opportunity to explore creative approaches to colour printmaking is coming up in January, in the form of our fully government subsidised printmaking intensive.

Join us   for a  short  course  working with  colour in predominantly  relief  printmaking. We  will be looking at  traditional  approaches  to  multiple colour prints  and  also  experimental techniques. 

The course  is for  beginners  and  intermediate  printmakers with little colour printing  experience.  You can  work from  plates  you  have  already  made  or  make them  during the  course.

This  course is structured as an intensive, and runs over two weeks on 17/01/2017 to 20/01/2017 and 23-25 Jan, and Jan 27, 2017 .

Classes run from 10am-3pm over these two weeks. The course is held in the printmaking facilities, T Block Nepean College.

Our fully government subsidised courses fill very fast, so we recommend you register immediately to avoid disappointment. Please register via the link below. 

Alternatively, call 131 870 to register.

Please bring a note book and pen, and wear covered shoes, and report to your first class at 9am on Tuesday Jan 17.


Intensive drawing course starts next week!

Improve your drawing skills and get credit towards your diploma of visual arts!

We are excited to announce another short taster course to help you develop your creative skills. This fun and very hands-on drawing course will help you develop the skills to draw what you see in front of you, and give a solid grounding in drawing skills such as the use of line, volume, shape, tone, perspective and depictions of space. You will also gain an excellent grounding in drawing the human figure.

These much-prized analogue drawing skills can be applied in a range of creative industry contexts. There are three units in this course, and the exciting news is that they can be used towards course completion in the Diploma of Visual Arts, and some of the units may be used to contribute to the Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging, and the Diploma of Graphic Design.

In addition to the unit CUAACD502 Create observational drawings, you will also also gain skills in professional practice via the units CUAPPR502 Develop own sustainable practice and BSBCMM401 Make a presentation.

We are registering now for our intensive course which starts next week. This course is held on from 9am-4pm, and it will run every day Jan 17-20, and Jan 23- 25, and Jan 27, 2017.

It will also be offered as an 8 week course, running on Fridays from 9am-4pm commencing Jan 10, 2017 and finishing on March 31, 2017.

Our fully government subsidised courses fill very fast, so we recommend you register immediately to avoid disappointment. Please register via the link below, and note in the 'enquiry ' field if you are attending the intensive course, or the Friday course.

Alternatively, call 131 870 to register.


Please report at 9am on the course start date to room P1.21, Nepean College. Bring a notebook and a pen, and wear covered shoes.

Dec 17, 2016

Visual Arts course information and enrolment sessions- January 17 and January 24, 2017, 10am-12 noon

Is 2017 going to be the year you follow your creative dream?  Course information and enrolment sessions will be held in January 2017 for all our visual arts courses including the Diploma of Visual Arts, the Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts, the Bachelor of Visual Arts and our short, government subsidised taster courses in drawing, ceramics and printmaking.

Come along to Building P, Nepean College on January 17 or January 24, 2017 between 10am and 12 noon to learn more about the courses on offer, and to enrol in our courses.

If you are applying for the Diploma of Visual Arts, please bring a portfolio of 6-10 artworks you have made and copies of previous qualifications  you may hold, including the HSC.

Meanwhile, register your interest in our courses by registering on the want to get started area of our website.

For directions on how to find us, click here.

Let 2017 be the year you start to create your career!

Nov 20, 2016

Our inaugural graduates from the Bachelor of Visual Arts in partnership with Federation University Australia


WSI staff and 2016 graduates: TAFE Western Sydney in partnership with Federation University Australia

NADC is so proud of our first graduates of the Bachelor of Visual Arts program, which we deliver here at Western Sydney Institute in partnership with Federation University Australia.

This vibrant program is building outstanding artists, who have chosen our degree to further their skills and knowledge and professionalise their practice in the environment they so value here at TAFE- one of small class sizes, nurturing and supportive staff, and dynamic teaching and learning in a practice-led environment.

At our recent Graduation ceremony, Helen Brancatisano spoke on behalf of the visual arts
graduates. Her speech is reproduced below, and gives a wonderful snapshot of the BVA at Nepean Arts and Design Centre.

To enquire about his exciting program, please contact the Head Teacher : catherine.barcan@tafensw.edu.au

Meanwhile, enjoy Helen's speech.......

Good afternoon distinguished guests, graduates, families and friends. It is my privilege to be addressing you on behalf of the students who undertook the inaugural Bachelor of Visual Arts through Federation University at the Nepean Arts and Design Centre at Western Sydney Institute of TAFE. Fifteen graduates of the Advanced Diploma of Fine Arts from several TAFE Institutes seized this exciting opportunity when it became available. 

Each week for eighteen months these students, whose ages span six decades, crossed the mountains eastwards from as far away as Lithgow, or left the city and set out westwards towards the mountains to meet the challenge of further study. 

Today, there are three observations I would like to make about our time together on campus:

The first regards the huge diversity of our group. Our diverse personalities were expressed in an array of visual language. We had painters in oil, acrylic, mixed media and watercolour, working in representational language and abstract. There were printmakers in lino, etching and monotype and sculptors of clay, paper mache and automated, complex paper models. Others found expression in collage, charcoal drawing and screen animation, or installation incorporating weaving, assemblage and ceramics. 

At each point in our work we were challenged with the problems that accompany the perfecting of this expression, constantly attempting to bridge the gap between our inner vision and its final manifestation. The students in our group grappled with politics and the machinations of the world, personal stories, historical and scientific narratives, and imaginary tales for children. They worked through cultural and societal issues. They responded to architecture and nature, and sought connections between the past and present. 

Paul Cezanne has been attributed with saying: “The most seductive thing about art is the personality of the artist himself.” The great fortune in studying together was just this: having the opportunity to be seduced by each other’s work and learn from it. This process was particularly facilitated by our critical sessions guided by our Studio mentors where both the extrovert and the introvert were required to present their work in progress, inviting discussion with their peers. 

My second observation is about a lesson learnt during our time together and that is, we cannot hope for that perfect time for creativity. CS Lewis observed that, “If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable. Favourable conditions never come.” 

Indeed, during the course, many students endured illness and family trauma, juggled demanding work and family commitments, and faced the unexpected and challenging problems that life tosses along our way. 

Although it is a fact that we would never wish to encounter any of these problems, it is also apparent that they inform our work in the most profound and surprising ways and this is, paradoxically, one of the reasons I believe we find ourselves so relentlessly pursuing the path we have chosen in Visual Arts. 

My final observation relates to our teachers and mentors. They were the anchors who kept our rafts stable but who also challenged us to take risks and place ourselves where we often felt uncomfortable. They listened and helped us to realise our inner visions. I believe we could not have had finer teachers and mentors than we did and would like to thank wholeheartedly our Studio Practice advisors Cath Barcan, Di Holdsworth, Stephen Hall and  Leo Robba, and theory teachers Dr Shirley Daborn and Stephen Hall. I would like to acknowledge as well, the huge contribution made by the Technical officers on our campus, and in particular Samara Kendall. 

We are also especially grateful for the support and feedback offered by Peter Pilven, the Visual Arts Program Leader, and Associate Professor Jennifer Jones-O’Neill, the History and Theory Coordinator from Federation University.

Outside the context of our University exhibitions during our course, a number of students were selected as finalists into well -regarded art competitions such as Fisher’s Ghost, Blacktown City Art Prize, North Sydney Art Prize, Hornsby Art Prize, Hunter’s Hill Art Exhibition, and the Waverley Art Prize. Some won prizes along the way. Others were involved in group exhibitions. 

As we embark on our next phase of work with the usual mix of excitement and trepidation I refer to the words of Albert Einstein: “A ship is always safe at the shore - but that is NOT what it is built for.”

I believe that this Bachelor of Visual Arts degree has provided us with the confidence to put our boats out to sea. When we feel like clinging to the safety of the shore I would like to think that we can draw on our experiences during our time together on campus, remembering that it is vital to bond with other artists, be open to suggestions, to look up to those artists we admire and to continue to work amidst whatever conditions surround us. 

Helen Brancatisano
Graduate, Bachelor of Visual Arts,Western Sydney Institute in partnership with Federation University Australia.

Five of our 2016 Bachelor of Visual Arts graduates: Karl Hellman, Barbara Hellman, Helen Brancatisano, Louise Holmes, Elaine Watson and Beverly Kirby.

Nov 11, 2016

Queen Street Riches and textures: Surfaces , Angles and Corners

Congratulations to Nepean Arts and design Centre students Ann Babinard, Amber Bolton, Sarah Emerson and Anita Faulkner for their participation in this exciting project, which opens tonight!

You are invited to St Marys Corner’s annual celebration of Queen Street Riches and Textures 2016 – Art. Mentorship. Community Engagements. project


Queen Street Riches and Textures 2016 Surfaces, Angles and Corners: Queen Street St Marys event features:


Surfaces, Angles and Corners: Queen Street St Marys Book Launch

Introduction of the book and creative processes by Angela Stretch artist and mentor

Poetry reading by members of St Marys Creative Writing Group  and community members

Promotion of St Marys Creative Writing Group 15 Years Anniversary Anthology  2016 Edition

Free social coffee, drinks and fine finger food at brand new Fusion café

Music performance by up-and-coming young local band - Nathan Scott, Jack Manley and Abbey Hinvest from Cambridge Park



Friday 11 November 6-8pm



Fusion Café Cnr Queen Street and Station Street St Marys



St Marys Creative Writing Group members : Gayle Barbagallo, Adel Farag, Richard List, Gabrielle Moran, Joel Stoneburner, Michael Stoneburner and Jaqueline Tasik
Community writers: Abaker Athum, Ben, Lyn Forde, Caroline Volkiene, Tomoko Ward and Norma Thorburn (George Sullivan)

Queen St Riches and Texture guest artist and mentor Angela Stretch

Emerging artists from Nepean Arts and Design Centre: Ann Babinard, Amber Bolton, Sarah Emerson and Anita Faulkner


Oct 20, 2016

Primordium- works by Diploma of Visual Arts students 2016

click for a larger image

Primordium is an exhibition showcasing the 2016 graduating and continuing students of the Diploma of Visual Arts from  Nepean Arts and Design Centre, TAFE Western Sydney. Over twenty-five students will participate in this exhibition, many of whom plan to  continue their studies in the Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts,  and then the Bachelor of Visual Arts (which is offered by Western Sydney Institute in partnership with Federation University Australia). 

Students will display works from multiple disciplines including ceramics, photography, printmaking, drawing and painting, ensuring a diverse experience for all visitors and illustrating the variety of teaching expertise on offer at NADC.

The opening will commence at 12pm on Wednesday the 26th of October. The exhibition will run until 5pm, Wednesday the 23rd November. All welcome!