Art and design conference brings top creatives to Newcastle

Making it: Brett Piva, founder of the Make It Made It conference, with artist Ellie Hannon in her shared Georgetown working studio. Picture: Simone De Peak
Making it: Brett Piva, founder of the Make It Made It conference, with artist Ellie Hannon in her shared Georgetown working studio. Picture: Simone De Peak

When it comes to creative arts, Brett Piva is all about making Newcastle part of the conversation.

Piva, who runs Newcastle creative graphics business Pocket Design, has put together a strong program for the third Make It Made It conference in Newcastle on August 12.

“It’s definitely about bringing people from outside of Newcastle here so we can be inspired by their vision and experience,” Piva says.

The conference aims to bring talented Australian creatives to the city to discuss not only how they have made their business successful, but how they conduct their own design and work processes.

Among the speakers at the conference are Gregory Hodge, from Wollongong, who constructs illusionary abstractions;  Alison Jackson, a Canberra-based gold and silversmith; Trevor Dickinson, a Newcastle-based artist who makes murals, drawings and prints; Georgia Hill, a Sydney artist who specialises in type-based works; Nadia Hernandez, a Venezuelan-born Sydney artist who’s work explores folklore, social and political change; and Geordie Malone, a Newcastle-based leatherworker.

A panel discussion on funding will include another group of creatives, including Shaun Hossack, artistic director of Juddy Roller, a creative agency specialising in contemporary urban art, art direction and graffiti management. Also on the panel: Grace Dewar, of First Coat Studios in Toowoomba; artist Braddon Snape of Newcastle; arts official Christina Robberds of Newcastle, Pippa Dickson, the chair of Design Tasmania; Lili Nishiyama, a funding campaign advisor for Pozible;  and Simon Grant, a co-founder of Wonderwalls, Australia's largest street art festival.

There will be a crowdfunding masterclass at the end of the day with Matthew Haynes of The Design Conference and Lili Nishiyama from Pozible.

This year the program also includes an art exhibition, Stories from Beyond the Passage, by Ellie Hannon, on Friday, August 11, from 5.30pm, at the working studio space she shares with five artists at 8 Christo Road, Georgetown. The other artists – Pablo Tapio, Lucas Grogan, Sally Bourke, Nick Barlow and Nicole Chaffey – will be on hand to discuss their work.

On Thursday, August 10, the conference will sponsor a Makers Mark session at Studio Melt in Newcastle Mall.

And the Make It Made It event includes a after-party at the Clarendon Hotel on Saturday night.

Piva has also collaborated with headspace, a youth mental health outreach service in Newcastle, to offer a workshop during Make It Made It where two attending creatives, Nadia Hernandez and Georgia Hill, will facilitate a trip to a local national park with 10 headspace clients to engage in “drawing what you see in front of you,” as Piva describes it.

makeitmadeit.com.au