Kim Brooks’s News Story

Chris Puebla

Chris Puebla

Mature age student Chris Puebla and international student Mehran Roozbahni view the opportunity to study visual arts at Frankston TAFE from two very different angles.

 The two were among the Frankston and Dandenong Chisholm students who were chosen to display their artwork at Frankston Arts Centre this week.

 Mrs Puebla is now living her dream having already sold a few pieces of her art work this year, while Mr Roozbahni is struggling to make ends meet.

 Mrs Puebla is close to finishing her second year of the diploma of visual arts and considers herself “really lucky” to be a self-funded student.

 “The youngies really work hard, with part time jobs”, she said.

 Mrs Puebla spoke highly of the TAFE and it’s teachers, and called it “the best place”.

 The retired primary school teacher who has “always wanted to do art”, said the teachers use their free time to advise students and the TAFE offers studio space for the artists to work on their pieces and store their artwork.

 New and emerging artists learn how to promote their work and find opportunities to show their art during the course.

 “They lead us through how to get off our backsides and do it for ourselves when we’re independent”, said Mrs Puebla.

 “We visit galleries or have visiting artists come to speak with us about their lives as practicing artists each week.” 

Mehran Roozbahni

Mehran Roozbahni

 The exhibition has given Mrs Puebla a chance to show her pieces to the public and the course has educated her in the business practices associated with being an artist.

 The course doesn’t guarantee success, but hard work and an education go a long way towards making it happen.

 “I already feel successful as I am making art and doing something I love”, said Mrs Puebla.

 Mehran Roozbahni left Iran 4 months ago to study art in Australia.

 Mr Roozbahni owned a gallery in Iran and taught students there.

 “After a while I got sick and tired of it and I noticed that I’m just wasting my time for making money” he said.

 Mr Roozbahni has a 2-year student visa.

 “I want to stay here in Australia if I can”, he said. “I really like here, I don’t like Iran”.

 “Iran now is a prison for me”.

 “Here I enjoy freedom”.

 Mr Roozbahni plans to collect some of his work to show in a private exhibition.

Mehran Roozbahni

Mehran Roozbahni

Unlike Mrs Puebla, he expected more from the Visual Arts course.

 “They don’t support students too much”, he said. “Last semester they didn’t have an exhibition”.

 As an international student Mr Roozbanhi struggles to find financial assistance.

 “Expenses are so high for me”, he said.

 Mr Roozbahni has tried selling his art work at Sunday Markets and is looking for a part-time job.

Chris Puebla

 The exhibition is a step in the right direction for Mr Roozbahni, but he’s not moving fast enough for an international student who needs financial support and a reason to call Australia home.

Chris Puebla

Chris Puebla

Mehran Roozbahni

Mehran Roozbahni


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