ORANGE TAFE visual arts students will tonight present their graduating exhibition with mixed feelings.
The students, proud of their achievements which they will display to the public over the next week, have hung the exhibition with heavy hearts knowing it will be the last of its kind.
Due to funding cuts the visual arts course they have been involved in will now incur a fee of up to $12,000, which students say puts it out of their reach.
Fifty-nine students from Orange and district are exhibiting tonight. They have been studying qualifications ranging from certificate lV to the diploma and advanced diploma of visual arts as well as post-graduate residency in fine arts.
One of the students, Jane Tyack, told the Central Western Daily being able to study visual arts at Orange TAFE had changed her life.
A talented young artist who was one of eight children, Ms Tyack had to turn down a placement in an art course at the age of 16.
“Our family just didn’t have the money at the time and I have carried that desire to paint all through my life,” she said.
“I count myself as very fortunate because I have been able to finish before the cuts have come in, but I really feel for the people who aren’t able to finish their courses because they can’t afford the high fees. I can’t believe we could be losing a course with such fantastic teachers as Victor Gordon and Neil Cuthbert.”
The exhibition opens tonight in the B block gallery of the March Street campus and will continue until Thursday, December 6 from 10am until 4pm weekdays.