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Five Questions with Art Winter School 2022

Art Winter School 2022, run by Thea Bates and Convent artist Eureka O’Hanlon, is coming to the Convent once again. After two and a half years of COVID-related disappointments and frequent lockdowns, they are ready to share the new skills they have learnt and re-ignite the creativity of the community.

We asked them some questions about their upcoming two-day event and why they love working together.

1.  What is Art Winter School at the Convent?

It is a weekend of intense creativity and art-making with the community.

2. You have been running seasonal art schools here since January 2017. What inspires you to keep coming back?

Our participants love being immersed in a historic creative space, away from everyday life, and the Convent has an amazing variety of venues that keeps it interesting for our returning participants! We have used venues ranging from the formal  Salon and adjacent Mural Hall, the sunny upstairs areas of Providence and now, the grunge glamour that is the Industrial School.

3. You obviously love working together. What makes this creative partnership particularly unique?

We both teach creativity and artistic risk-taking and have backgrounds in community development, working with groups and visual art. We both love empowering people to be their most creative selves and are artists who exhibit and teach regularly.

We don’t compete but we complement each other with the different creative strengths we bring to this course.

4. What would you like participants to take away from their experience at Art Winter School 2022?

A thirst to keep creating and the confidence that they can create unique work that they, and others will enjoy. We also hope that they pick up some ideas on how to maintain a creative life and would love them to make new contacts with the other participants so they can continue to support each other.

5. Obviously the last few years have been an incredibly challenging time for artists. What is one way in which your practice has changed as a result of the pandemic?

Like many artists, we enjoyed the opportunity to just concentrate on making art. Thea expanded her teaching skills to the virtual classroom. Eureka made an art book with the help of other creatives he met through the Convent.

However, we have missed the company of fellow artists and are very happy to offer people this experience; allowing them the chance to become a part of an artistic community. Each year we welcome participants from all over Melbourne, regional Victoria and sometimes from interstate!   The initial response has been fabulous to this year’s event. We can feel a real sense of a pent-up desire to create and connect and we look forward to welcoming everyone who attends.


Thea Bates is a trained art teacher who has an amazing repertoire, from printmaking to oil painting. She loves to experiment with new materials and processes.

Eureka O’Hanlon teaches drawing and painting of the human form.

Art Winter School 2022
Industrial School
Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July

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