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A creative identity is encouraged from an early age at St Margaret’s College; the school has invested in key artistic learning environments to empower every student.

The school’s visual art department is fortunate to have not just one but several ‘artists in residence’ – teachers who are also current exhibiting artists. Real-time experience with artists who are passionate in their fields provides the girls with the best of both worlds.

Lucy Mackie, former St Margaret’s head girl, returned to the school as one of these teachers and currently works with both Middle and Senior School students.

“It’s such a positive place to be. The school programmes are well thought out – the skills taught from Middle School form the grounding for Senior School and beyond. I also really enjoy getting to know, and working with, the different age groups.”

The school is a hive of artistic activity – Head of Visual Arts and one of New Zealand’s leading landscape painters, Callum Arnold, is working on a display of International Baccalaureate art in the school’s Atrium; an art club is painting a mural on a building wall during their break; each lunchtime sees a different extra-curricular art activity for students to be involved in.

Callum has been inspiring students at St Margaret’s for five years. “We introduce different disciplines of art, right from Year 4. We build up the creative skills and give a broad view of things like photography, design, and sculpture. There is more than one avenue when it comes to art. We encourage the girls to find their own pathway.”

12-year-old Harley McVicar (Year 8) developed a passion for digital art this year and has already made waves in the art world herself – designing this year’s NZ Fashion Week volunteer tee-shirts, and a thank-you card the school uses on a regular basis.

“Mum says I’ve liked art since I was old enough to pick up a pencil. I want to be an artist and working with the teachers here at St Margaret’s has helped me see it’s what I’d like to do as a job. It seems like it will be so much fun.”

In DetailJoshua Brosnahan