Art lecturer turns Zoom superstar during lockdown

Queensland College of Art Head of Drawing Dr Bill Platz

Queensland College of Art lecturer Bill Platz has become a Zoom sensation thanks to a popular series of online art classes at the Queensland Art Gallery.

Each Saturday morning, hundreds of art lovers from around the globe have been tuning into drawing workshops streamed live from Dr Platz’s home studio in Brisbane.

The workshops are based on a series of lectures Dr Platz delivers to second-year fine art students at the Queensland College of Art (QCA).

The classes use hidden treasures from QAGOMA’s collection as inspiration, with lessons themed around everything from ‘bad’ drawing to mirror self-portraits and stop-motion animation. In each session Dr Platz also shares tips or a recipe for creating drawing materials at home.

The fine art lecturer said he was thrilled with the global response to the online classes.

“I’ve done workshops at QAGOMA where it’s been standing room only, but this is fantastic,” Dr Platz said.

“We had more than 900 people register for the first workshop.

“As well as people from all over Australia, we had people tuning in from the US, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand.

“I was trying to engage with the comments and feedback during the session, but I couldn’t keep up!

“My instagram was going crazy with people tagging me in and sharing their work.”

The Queensland Art Gallery’s online program mirrors the QCA’s pivot to online learning and virtual exhibitions.

The QCA’s social media channels have provided a showcase for art created by students during the coronavirus pandemic, under the hashtag #QCAatHome.

The QCA Galleries have also run a series of online exhibitions featuring work created by students and alumni during lockdown.

Dr Platz said it was inspiring to see students adapt so well to online learning and embrace different ways of showcasing their work.

More than just art students are reaping the rewards, with thousands of people around the world turning to online workshops as a creative outlet.

“It seems to be the perfect way for people to flex their creative muscles during COVID,” Dr Platz said.

“It’s amazing to see people come together from all over the world to make art together.

“I try to plan each workshop so that everyone from complete novices to experienced artists get something out of it.”

The next workshop takes place at 10:30am on Saturday 20 June. For more information, visit QAGOMA.