March 13, 2013

Sun, sand, students and aluminium art!

Students from Perth, Peel and the South-West will spend a day in a ‘classroom’ with arguably the best view in WA this month, when they attend the Sculpture by the Sea 'Alcoa School Education Program' at Cottesloe Beach.  
This year, the ‘Alcoa School Education Program’ will see more than 2,400 students participate in hands-on workshops with artists who are exhibiting in what is now Perth’s largest outdoor art exhibition.    
As a major partner of Sculpture by the Sea, Alcoa of Australia invites a number of schools from around its areas in which it operates in Western Australia to take part in the workshops. Students from the regions surrounding Kwinana, Pinjarra, Wagerup and Alcoa’s mining operations will travel to Perth to participate.
Alcoa’s metal, aluminium, is one of the materials the children will use to create their mini-masterpieces. Aluminium, described as the ‘miracle metal’ for its versatility and endless recyclability, also features in five sculptures this year.
Shelby Butler, a local school student, attended the workshop last year and said she had a fabulous time.
“Visiting Sculptures by the Sea in Cottesloe was a great day out. We had a guided walk along the beach and saw some interesting art. Our class then had the chance to work with one of the exhibition artists and sculpt our own masterpieces. We made sculptures from wire and some of them were pretty fascinating too,” said Shelby.
Alcoa of Australia Managing Director Alan Cransberg said: “Alcoa has been a partner of Sculpture by the Sea since the outdoor exhibition first came to Perth in 2005 and we are pleased to have the opportunity to be involved,” said Alan.
“Through our partnership, we take great pleasure in being able to provide many local school aged children with such a rare opportunity. It’s wonderful that the kids get a chance to interact with our metal in a fun and unique environment. It is a fantastic day out of their usual learning environment and if previous years are anything to go by, the kids will have such a lot of fun.”
“Children are the heart of our communities, our future, and as a father of four I certainly believe experiences like this enrich young lives.”
In addition to the artist workshops, a further 300 students are expected to learn more about the arts during excursions to Cottesloe as their teachers utilise the online teaching resources available as part of the wider Alcoa School Education Program.
As one of the original and long standing partners of Sculpture by the Sea, 2013 marks the ninth year of Alcoa’s partnership with the event. But this year’s event has extra special meaning for Alcoa of Australia as 2013 marks Alcoa of Australia’s 50th anniversary. 
Mr Cransberg has been with the company for more than thirty years, from the early days as a graduate civil engineer to leading a 5,000-strong workforce today.
“It’s a remarkable milestone and testament to the many talented, courageous and industrious people who have worked and currently work for Alcoa,” he said.
“We have many long-term employees who have clocked up 25, 30 and 40 years of service; without their continuing dedication and commitment we would not be here today celebrating this remarkable achievement.
“And while Alcoa has contributed to the nation’s economic and social prosperity, through royalty and tax payments, local purchasing, jobs and wages, it’s the regional communities in which we operate that are the real beneficiaries.
“In addition to the Sculpture by the Sea event, Alcoa will invest around $5 million in a variety of community programs and dedicate hundreds of hours in people time and in-kind support this year alone. This investment offers Alcoa the opportunity to give back to the community and demonstrate its gratitude in the support of the local communities in which it operates.”
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Media contact: Bobbie Everitt 0423 692 261 or
Sculpture by the Sea runs between 8 and 24 March 2013. Schools surrounding Alcoa’s Western Australian locations that are invited to participate in the education workshops include:
• North Dandalup Primary School
• Yarloop Primary School
• St Joes Waroona Primary School
• Bertram Primary School
• Pinjarra Primary School
• North Parmelia Primary School
• Harvey Primary School
• Medina Primary School
• Waroona District High School
• Carcoola Primary School
• Dwellingup Primary School
• Yangebup Primary School