Move to Founders brings 'creative' shift

22:24, Aug 08 2012
Lori Davis
NEW DIGS: Artist Lori Davis enjoys the ‘‘collective atmosphere’’ at Founders Heritage Park.

A new workshop and studio space has re-energised Nelson artist Lori Davis at Founders Heritage Park.

Davis ran an art school from her studio and gallery on Nile St for eight years, but took over Rutherford Cottage not long ago.

She says she enjoys the "collective atmosphere" at Founders and the interaction with people from other studios.

"It's a nice supportive feeling and I think they're all interested in making it a creative destination."

Emma Halsey, 13, is one of her 30 students and says the new studio is bigger and easier to move around in than the Nile St premises.

Sabine O'Neill-Stevens, 14, says: "It's really cool here. It's bigger and I think it will be really good in summer, because we can go outside."

Sabine, who has been visiting Davis' art school for four years, says she enjoys her relaxed teaching style. "At school they tell you what to do and you have to do it, but here we kind of get to choose."

Davis says she gets joy out of seeing her "very competent little artists" at work. Learning art improves cognitive thinking, attention span and one's ability to have fun with something simple, she says.

"They have wonderful conversations and they create the most fantastic things with the most unlikely colours and materials."