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The 2021 Youth Advisors are the third group to come through the program. They will be working on three major projects, as well as personal interest projects during the year-long program.
Aidan Gageler is an emerging artist and aspiring academic working in and around the expanded field of photography. Aidan completed his BA (hons) fine art with a first class honours from Camberwell College of the Arts, part of the University of the Arts London. Aidan’s focus in both academia and his art has been on the re-emergence and re-contextualisation of photography in contemporary visual culture. His work explores historic methodologies and materials through the scope of contemporary concern and aesthetic.
Aidan has always had a keen interest and involvement in the arts. He is an exhibiting artist, both internationally and nationally including London, Brighton, Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle. He has been responsible for curating small shows in London with the help of a small team. He is also a gallery assistant at The Lock-Up.
Belle Beasley is a professional dancer, educator, and arts writer currently based in Newcastle, Australia. After studying dance locally, Belle received her formal arts education at the University for the Arts, Amsterdam where she came into contact with diverse performance art disciplines and practitioners. She received a graduate position with the Dutch National Ballet Company and worked for five years as ballet dancer across Europe, performing in cultural spaces such as the Bolshoi Theatre. Belle returned to Newcastle at the end of 2019 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Writing and History, and a Diploma of French Language. Currently Belle engages with dance in a freelance capacity, working primarily under Catapult Choreographic Hub as an independent artist. She also works as a contributing writer for the Newcastle Herald and Dance Australia, as a marketing writer for Catapult, and as an educator for several local dance schools.
Benji Crocker is a Graphic Designer in Newcastle. Benji graduated from University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Visual Communication Design with Distinction. Maintained a 7.0 GPA, was awarded a Faculty Medal from the (former) Faculty of Education and Arts, recipient of the University of Newcastle Academic Excellence Scholarship, and received accolades from the Australian Graphic Design Awards and the Global Undergraduate Awards. Currently employed full time in Newcastle at local creative agency Headjam and also has a sick mullet.
Kar Mun Phoon is an emerging cultural administrator who has worked locally in Newcastle with various practitioners and institutions. Phoon previously qualified as a dentist and has worked in this field for over seven years. She has recently re-skilled at TAFE Newcastle in Arts Administration and completed a six-month internship in Marketing and Audience Development at Blackstone Gallery. She currently volunteers at an innovative not-for-profit gallery The Lock-Up as well as at the Newcastle Art Gallery as a Youth Advisor.
Molly McNeil is an emerging cultural practitioner and academic with four years’ experience working in the arts. McNeil completed their undergraduate degree where they were awarded the Faculty Medal for the School of Humanities and Social Futures, and has since completed their Honours in Sociology and Anthropology and received First Class Honours. They are in the process of publishing work from the research conducted through their Honours.
McNeil has multifaceted experiences in the arts industry, having worked as an install technician at the Lock Up, Arts Administrator for the University of Newcastle, Co-Director of Critical Animals - a creative research symposium that was formerly part of This is Not Art (TiNA) and one of Australia’s leading experimental arts festivals, and now is a board member for Octapod.
Nicole Klaer is an emerging entrepreneur, who in the last 12 months has started her own business in the field of media production, graphic design, illustration and marketing. Nicole has grown this business quickly with 7 ongoing clients and 3 major design projects. She also recently illustrated her first children's book 'Guuluu Gimbaijar', which has now been accepted by a publishing agency. Nicole's education background is a Bachelor of Communication majoring in media production, which has led her to also work in video production. One of her recent video production jobs was based in Amata, SA, recording an album and two music videos with Musgrave Band.
Newcastle Art Gallery acknowledges the Awabakal and Worimi people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water, culture and community, and pay our deepest respects to Elders past, present and future. Newcastle Art Gallery is dedicated to honouring the culture and traditions of our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through the visual arts.