Licorice Allsorts' opening exhibition at Old Courthouse

Licorice Allsorts organiser Ann Clarke gets ready for the group's seventh exhibition, to be held at the Old Courthouse this weekend. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Licorice Allsorts organiser Ann Clarke gets ready for the group's seventh exhibition, to be held at the Old Courthouse this weekend. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Licorice Allsorts art group refuses to be soured by TAFE funding cuts to the arts program.

The have instead started a pretty sweet collective where artists can show their work, with an opening exhibition at the Old Courthouse this weekend.

This is the seventh show held by the collective and will include 10 artists with paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and sculptures.

The group met at night art classes at West Wollongong TAFE while studying their Certificate III in Visual Art.

But state government funding was cut only one year into their three-year course, meaning they were unable to complete the program.

The class did not provide an opportunity for the artists to exhibit their work, so Licorice Allsorts organiser Ann Clarke decided to give artists a platform to do so.

"In spite of adversity in getting an education we are starting to make things happen for ourselves," Ms Clarke, who set up the collective, said.

"We are an assorted bunch of people with an assorted art style.

"Many artists do not have the confidence to exhibit their work but we are providing a path to it."

Former students have banded together with sacked TAFE art teachers to continue learning new skills, even though it is not accredited.

Ms Clarke has helped Jeanette Clay to establish the Shellharbour City Arts Society Inc, which aims to provide an arts hub at the Albion Park Rail milk factory, so artists can take classes, workshops and exhibit their work.

Ms Clarke will also be involved in a two-day watercolour portraits workshop late next month.

The Old Courthouse exhibition is on from 9am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

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