The Grafton Regional Gallery’s first artist in residence for the year, Lisa Woolfe, starts this week. The Manly Vale artist will work in the Gallery’s studio space from September 16 to October 11, and uses an open studio approach that aims to engage members of the community who visit. Gallery director, Jude McBean, said she was excited that Ms Woolfe proposed to work on a large drawing installation that would be later exhibited as part of Just Draw at Newcastle Art Gallery in 2016. “I anticipate Lisa will leave Grafton, the home of the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, with a deeper understanding of the history of drawing in Clarence Valley and I hope her time here encourages her to enter the 2016 JADA,” she said. Ms Woolfe, who will co-curate the Just Draw exhibition with Sydney-based artist Todd Fuller, said they had pulled together a group of 13 artists for this exhibition to show just a sample of what’s happening in contemporary drawing in Australia. “I’m interested in the natural world,” she said. “The underlying ideas I’m interested in are how we connect with nature, how we are mirrored in nature and, indeed, how we’ve started to become disengaged with the real world as we get deeper into the technological age. “For this work I’ve been engaging with trees again and a few Australian ravens and I’m planning to bring many of my drawings to life with moving images, animation and projections, and perhaps bringing a bit of nature into the studio space.” Ms Woolfe said she was a practising artist with an inner geek. Using skills gained in her previous life working in technology and technology training, she said she liked to demystify social media and website design for artists. She will work with workshop participants to help build their practical skills in self promotion using technology. Ms Woolfe will conduct numerous $5, two-hour workshops and seminars at the gallery for adults and children as part of her stay in Grafton. A seminar, A Practical Guide to Social Media for Artists, will cover topics such as Facebook Artist pages – do I need one?, Instagram, LinkedIn and Blogging. The workshop Drawing 101 for Adults is a short drawing workshop for adults who want to try drawing but think they can’t. Ms Woolfe will also run a children’s workshop for ages 6-12 years titled Birds. Participants will learn to draw portraits of their favourite birds and then experiment with colourful drawings of these animals. For workshop bookings and details call 6642 3177.