Inspired children's work at Kamo art exhibition

A new exhibition of artwork is on show at Inspire, a Kamo art school set up by Jessie Rose Foote last year.

Inspire provides classes for children from 5 to 18 years old, and also has an adult class. No previous skills are necessary, just a desire to learn and create, Foote said.

''I started Inspire after many, many requests from parents over the years to tutor their children, to which I always said as much as I'd love to, I couldn't as I'm not trained at all. ''However one day, while I was replying to another parent, I suddenly stopped and changed my reply, and said 'actually, yes I will'. ''The perfect premises came up in Kamo, so I took it on and Inspire was born.''

The classes run after school for a 10-week school term, at the end of which an exhibition is held for friends and family to view the masterpieces.

The exhibition displaying this year's term two students' work opened on Monday.

''My Inspire classes are really bringing out the most amazing talent from Northland kids,'' Foote said. ''It's amazing so far, and I'd love others to see just how awesome they are.'' Since starting the after-school classes, the results have been far greater than she first imagined they might be. ''I've had parents telling me how grateful they are. They have seen huge changes in their children, growth in confidence, children who have been bullied at school who have gained the self confidence through Inspire to now not be bullied. ''All sorts, it really has been amazing.''

Through art, and through interaction with individual students, as well as the group's dynamic, Foote said she's helping youngsters be themselves and not be afraid to be different. "They learn to express themselves through art, and it's just been incredible to see the results.''

Four terms after the school started, several of the first students to sign up still attend, and some parents have committed to enrol their children for the duration of their schooling, Foote said. ''It's truly amazing, and now I'm glad I haven't trained as I'm just being myself and passing on what I have learnt and experienced along the way.''