Rehana Packwood recently joined the BNG team as our new Education Officer. Rehana recently returned home to Bermuda from London, where she was completing a Masters in Cultural and Creative Industries at Kings College.
Having spent several years teaching in both England and Japan, Rehana brings a fresh perspective to our arts education programming. Passionate about digital art, her first point of call is the Art & Tech Summer Camp, which returns in July and August with a focus on digital art making techniques for students age 11 to 14.
We sat down with Rehana to discuss her vision for BNG’s education programmes, the importance of art education and how art teaches us to challenge preconceptions and push boundaries.
BNG: Welcome to the BNG team! How have you found the first few weeks?
RP: Since I’ve been outside of Bermuda for a while, I’m enjoying the transition back. I was in London for most of the pandemic and after months on lockdown, it’s great to be back. Although unfortunately Bermuda went into lockdown a week after I joined the team so I haven’t spent much time in the gallery! I’m really enjoying being part of the team. I’m very excited for everything we have planned.
BNG: You have travelled extensively since leaving school – studying in the USA and the UK as well as spending two years teaching in Japan. What do you hope to bring back to Bermuda?
RP: I hope to be able to create a space for local kids and adults to be introduced to art programmes that haven’t been commonly available on island – from digital art fundamentals, animation, photo editing and collage to digital painting.
I hope to expand our educational programming to reach new groups. I am keen to introduce adult art programmes and after school programmes for older teens to help with portfolio development.
BNG: The Art & Tech summer camp programme will this year focus purely on digital art. Can you please tell us more about this?
RP: As my background is in digital art, I’m very excited about the plans we have for digital art programmes. A lot of professional artists work digitally and introducing students to the different types of art that technology opens up is something I’m passionate about.
We also plan to establish a series of after school programmes in the fall to continue teaching students about digital artwork and allow them to deepen their skills.
BNG: Do you make a lot of digital art yourself?
RP: My background is in animation and I really enjoy 3D modelling. Most often, though, I spend a lot of time digital painting. I love portraits in particular.
BNG: Why is art education so important?
RP: Art represents the way we interact with the world. History is often made and preserved through art. We learn about our past and depict our present through art. We learn to challenge preconceptions and push boundaries. We create and share culture through art. That is why art and art education are so important.
Click here to register for the Art & Tech Summer Camp.