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Artist in Residence: Kelsie Tong

In addition to her passion for music, ACG Tauranga student, Kelsie Tong, has loved art for as long as she can remember and embraced the coursework challenges of last year’s Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in Art & Design with both confidence and enthusiasm.
Kelsie Tong

Now in Year 12, Kelsie’s ability to express herself visually, combined with her involvement in Art classes and immersive workshops, has led her to deeply appreciate the creative process. As such, she takes great pleasure in completing the entire artistic journey, from initial sketch through to finished artwork.

“Art has always been a massive passion for me from a very young age,” Kelsie explains. “The most enjoyable part is the idea that art is your own. Having developed an idea, you decide what it will turn out to be. The most exciting part is that finished look!”

An outstanding artist and talented musician, Kelsie’s imaginative approach enables her to find inspiration in even the most mundane, everyday objects.

“Everywhere I look, there is art in absolutely everything,” Kelsie believes. “And I love being inspired by the beauty of nature in its own way.

“My favourite medium within Art is just the simple, but really effective, pencil sketch. I love working and layering to develop a deep contrast within the lights and the shadows of the piece. And I enjoy painting – really working with the right tones and colours and mixing it all together.”

Kelsie’s extensive coursework for 2019 was based on two local heritage sites - The Elms / Te Papa and The Battle of Gate Pā, and also included still life vignettes based on items from ‘Hands on Tauranga’ – an object lending library within the Tauranga Heritage Collection.

Although the volume of work required was initially a little daunting, Kelsie found that with the support and guidance of teachers, friends and family, she was able to conquer every task set before her. Her positive attitude and strong work ethic have made her an excellent role model for younger students.

“My major challenge with IG assessments was the amount of organisation to do and it did become a little stressful. But stress made me push to get the work done and be happy with it in the end.

“My major highlight was looking back on the journey I made last year. Going from Year 10, IG was a massive step up. But I enjoyed every moment! And came out with some amazing pieces I thought I could never do. I’m happy with the effort I put in, and with the new things I know I can work on next year.”

Aiming to develop her talents to their fullest potential, Kelsie admits that the thought of following Art as a career is intriguing. “Even though it is early, it has been obvious to me that the Arts is something I'm very passionate about and want to pursue in the future.”