Adelaide, the city of young artists

As a city renowned for its art, it’s no surprise Adelaide is producing some extraordinary young artistic talent (Image Source: Annie Jo Smith and Aleesha Stone)

By Liliana Burges | @liliana_burges

The next generation of Adelaide artists have arrived, and their future looks promising.

Aleesha Stone, a 17-year-old student from Adelaide, is a photographer hoping to break into Adelaide’s art scene with just a vision and a camera lens.

Aleesha has had a passion for photography since she was a child, and said she always has a camera in her hand whether it is a phone camera, digital camera or DSLR.

She has been taking photos competitively for five years now, and believes photos are exceedingly unique and special.

“Photos are beautiful,” Aleesha said.

“They capture tone and depth that the naked eye can’t, and they have the ability to take you back to a memory or point in time.

“I find it magical.”

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Lake Bonney, South Australia (Image Source; Aleesha Stone)

The artists Adelaide has produced have been a key source of inspiration for her.

“[M]any creatives that I’ve met living here have transformed the way I view and appreciate art,” Aleesha said.

“There’s so many beautiful and talented people in this city.”

Various art and cultural events in Adelaide have also contributed to Aleesha’s passion for photography and appreciation for art.

“I really love the Fringe, who doesn’t?, but I’ve also participated in RAW showcases in Adelaide,” Aleesha said.

“RAW is a global organisation looking to show off local talent in exhibitions.

“Any creative can apply to be featured in a showcase, and an event is held every few months in Burnside.

“It’s a great way to find small local artists with huge talent.”

One photo that Aleesha cherishes from her collection is this one of the Karlu Karlu (Devil’s Marbles) in central Northern Territory.

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Karlu Karlu, Northern Territory (Image source: Aleesha Stone)

Currently, Aleesha is not sure whether she will pursue photography professionally but would love to continue it as a hobby to see where it takes her.

“I love photography and I can’t see myself ever stopping, however, I also can’t imagine turning it into a full-time job in the position I am in at the moment,” Aleesha said.

Despite not focusing on photography as a career, Aleesha has had widespread success in the industry considering her age.

“I’ve worked with a few clients, won a few awards where I study at the Centre for Creative Photography, and been featured in a RAW showcase,” Aleesha said.

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Wilpena Pound, South Australia (Image Source: Aleesha Stone)

Aleesha posts her work on her Instagram page, @aleeshastone.

Annie Jo Smith, 19, is another young artist breaking into Adelaide’s art scene, but this time with a paintbrush and a denim jacket.

Annie is an independent painter from Adelaide working with two different techniques, oil on canvas and painting on ceramics. Occasionally she branches out and expands her artistic style to jackets as well.

Annie’s pieces usually depict nature “in all its beauty”, an idea she hopes the viewer will interpret.

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Oil paintings on ceramic plates (Image source: Annie Jo Smith)

Annie’s passion for art derives from the tranquillity it brings her, and even though her love for the speciality began as a child, her style is still evolving.

“I am passionate about my practice because it gives me time in the day to disconnect with the world and create beautiful things,” Annie said.

“I think I always had a passion for painting and drawing when I was younger and have slowly developed my style over time, which is still evolving now.”

Adelaide’s strong art culture also cultivated Annie’s passion for the field.

“The different galleries in Adelaide, as well as the amazing teachers I have had here, have helped to create and shape my love of art,” Annie said.

The piece from her collection that Annie proudly calls her favourite is an oil painting she did on a ceramic plate.

“My favourite piece to date was an oil painting on a blue and white ceramic plate with a matching cup, I spent more hours on it than any other painting.

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Oil painting on ceramic plate with matching cup (Image source: Annie Jo Smith)

This piece also inspired Annie to hold her first solo exhibition at the Urban Cow Studio in April, which almost sold out; she was also a finalist in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize in 2018.

Annie aspires to either manage or be involved with an art gallery, but she also has high hopes for her work and would love to see where her paintings take her.

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Artwork from Annie’s solo exhibition (Image Source: Annie Jo Smith)

Her next goal is to enter the Waterhouse Prize again this year and to work towards another solo exhibition in the future.

Wherever her art career takes her, we know that those cheering her along the way will be dressed only in her grooviest custom painted jackets.

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One of Annie’s custom painted jackets (Image Source: Annie Jo Smith)

Annie also posts her art on her Instagram account, @anniejoartist.

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