By Kate Foreman
The Limestone Coast has a unique appeal for artists – its limestone features, pine forests, rugged coastline, vineyards and farming lands.
It’s no wonder then Lucindale Area School teacher and professional artist Jojo Spook spends many days giving back to the South East communities by raising the regions’ s arts profile.
The talented Robe artist uses her skills in all areas of the arts to educate children through innovative and creative curriculum programs which are student driven and interesting.
“What I do is very unique in terms of teaching,” says Jojo.
“A lot of things are student driven… it has to be a great partnership and you have to listen to what they think and you have to step outside the box.”
Jojo’s commitment to the arts in regional South Australia has taken her to towns like Ceduna and Peterborough on initiatives for Country Arts SA.
She has also been heavily involved with grant proposals for a number of arts related initiatives including Lucindale’s colourful Skate Park.
“I love the Country Arts projects because they are mine, in terms of what I love doing and because they are youth-related,” says Jojo.
“It’s a challenge, but it’s great to see the volunteers involved take ownership for the work they have created.”
Jojo’s most recent project has been the design and development of a new look for the front of the Lucindale Area School.
“We’ve done a lot of workshops throughout the school holidays, painting water tanks and a pole project depicting the nine learning areas of the curriculum,” she says
Jojo spends a lot of time working on her own projects as well, exhibiting at many establishments around the region and throughout South Australia, including regional arts festivals and SALA.
Her sculptures, paintings, metal-work and limestone carvings (to name a few) make her one of the Limestone Coast’s most sort after artists, with too many accolades and community achievements to note.
But one of her highlights was a nomination for the Australian Scholarships Group National Excellence in Teaching Awards in 2013, for student engagement.
After receiving top honours in South Australia, Jojo went on to become a finalist in the national award.
“I didn’t think I would even make it through the first round,” she says.
“My nomination video was very student-focused and you could tell they had an input in the video, it wasn’t just me telling them what to do.
“We all brainstormed ideas, and I asked them what they thought was inspirational and then we put this 13 minute video together showcasing why the students thought I was an inspirational teacher.”
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