The WEA Adult Learning Street Library is installed on the façade of the WEA building at 223 Angas Street, Adelaide.
The Workers’ Educational Association of South Australia Incorporated, founded in 1913, provides accessible and affordable learning opportunities for all South Australians aged 15 years or older.
WEA’s vision is to provide opportunities and pathways for all adults to improve and enrich their lives through lifelong learning, supporting equity access and social justice. Through providing an easily accessible Street Library in the heart of the Adelaide CBD WEA Adult Learning is seeking to make books more readily accessible to City of Adelaide residents and other city users, and to foster a sense of community engagement and fun.
The WEA Street Library has been painted by local Adelaide artist Drew Harrison. Drew is a qualified illustrator, professional practicing artist and has been a part-time art tutor at WEA Adelaide for over 10 years. He is an acrylic paint specialist who has created a wide range of contemporary and fine art paintings for personal collections and commercial projects including prizes in local and national competitions.
Drew describes his experience of painting the WEA’s Street Library Australia box:
“Having come from an Illustration background I am able to customise projects to a client’s specific requirements instead of having a singular style for adaptation. This was particularly useful when I was approached and subsequently commissioned by the WEA to paint the Street Library Australia community library box. With most commissions it is important to meet and discuss the requirements and also the look, subject matter and style of the intended project. In this case the WEA had no specific direction for the artwork and were happy to leave the design process in my hands. As a tutor at WEA, the location on Angas Street was already familiar to me and I decided to respond to the surrounding environment including some nearby park benches and a few trees. I avoided a representational design as it would have appeared lost among the open space – it needed to be bright and attractive. Colour is something we all need during 2020! The initial design was a collage I created in Photoshop mixing some of my source images with a couple of older paintings from my Telomere series and current Labyrinth works and then experimenting with layers and a few colour combinations. Fortunately it was approved! Painted in acrylics I like to think the final work has a type of watercolour-look mashed up with Impressionist style colourings, even so, a few identifiable features are still visible. Either way the WEA are pleased and hopefully it adds a little colour to those utilising the library day to day.”
The WEA Adult Learning Street Library has been stocked with secondhand books donated by WEA staff and students and was made possible thanks to a grant from the City of Adelaide.