Susan Tate has immersed herself in the arts communities in Colac, Lavers Hill and Apollo Bay since completing her studies with South West TAFE and loves every minute of it.
She had worked for years in international business and lived overseas before finding herself in Lavers Hill and discovering South West TAFE’s arts course.
Susan said she had always enjoyed working with art and textiles.
“The Diploma of Visual Arts taught me to combine textile manipulation with dyeing, drawing and painting to enhance my work and bring my own voice to the medium,” she said.
Susan now volunteers her time assisting with the Colac arts event CrossXpollination and was instrumental in starting local Remakery spaces in Apollo Bay and Lavers Hill where people can bring a variety of goods to be repaired, creating community sharing spaces.
She is currently a leader in driving an initiative for a community artists’ space in Colac and is a committee member for the Colac Otway Arts Trail.
Susan said she also found time to volunteer to help produce a community newsletter at Lavers Hill College and along with another graduate of South West TAFE’s arts course, she has formed the Lavers Hill Craft group.
“The course introduced me to a great network of people and given me a great understanding of how the arts world works,” she said.
In 2017 Susan was awarded the emerging artist award in the South West Women’s Art prize and won the Community Achievement award at South West TAFE’s Graduation and Awards ceremony in March.
She is now working towards her first solo art exhibition later this year.