It was a welcome addition to the shopping experience at Macarthur Square – riding down the escalator or moving through the thoroughfares to encounter centre court transformed into a temporary art space. Whether catching up over a coffee or popping in for the daily essentials, Stepping Up Macarthur exposed a wider audience to the Higher School Certificate major works by local students.
HSC major works are a compulsory component of creative subjects such as art, music, textiles and industrial design. They make up 50% of the marks and can take up to twelve months to complete.
Grounded in lived experience, Stepping Up Macarthur sought to celebrate the ideas, stories and hard work of young people, filling a critical gap in local programming. The showcase supported over 70 young people across three instalments.
In its inaugural year, Stepping Up Macarthur represented 22 artists across five schools. Students from visual arts, industrial design and textiles working represented the diversity of skills and creativity of young people. The exhibition was visited by more than 100, 000 people over five days and received 800 people’s choice votes.
In 2014, the quality and diversity of entries received from several schools increased. From a video work, photography, sculpture and mixed media, students explored personal histories, counter culture and issues facing young people today.
Stepping Up was recognised by the NSW Centre for Volunteering and nominated for a Zest Award in Youth Leadership.
February 2015 became the month to celebrate the creativity of young people. Third instalment included two weekends of music performances made possible with the support of Utopia Music and the visual showcase across Macarthur Square, Narellan Library and Camden Library.
As the entries for SU15 rolled in it became obvious that the calibre and diversity of works had outgrown our capacity. This posed both a challenge and an opportunity to build a new partnership with business start-up Penrith Fencing and Fabrications. With a sleek new look and larger scale works being exhibited, SU15 excited visitors who were familiar with the showcase and intrigued new visitors.
Partners include: Macarthur Square (Lend Lease), Campbelltown Council, Camden Council, MWLP, Utopia Music, Penrith Fencing and Fabrications, and Eckersleys Art and Craft