2018 CONNECTED Art Exhibition

The 2018 CONNECTED Exhibition has now closed and all auctions have been finalised.

Congratulations to all the artists that participated in the 2018 CONNECTED Art Exhibition.

This year, in order to raise more funds for the artists, CONNECTED Artworks were auctioned in an online website.

$5,487 was raised from the sale of CONNECTED Artworks, with all funds going directly to the artists.

This was on top of the $2,750 in prizes for the winners of 1st, 2nd, 3rd Prize, Allan Merigan People’s Choice and the Office of the Public Advocate Prize.

We would like to thank all who joined us for the CONNECTED Exhibition and everyone who placed a bid on the artworks for sale.

Watch this space for future art initiatives and continued opportunities to purchase art from our Connected Exhibition artists.


State Trustees CONNECTED Art Exhibition was established in 2002 and showcases the work of emerging artists with a disability or an experience of mental illness. The event was borne from a passion for recognising and celebrating artists with a physical or mental disability in Victoria.

The exhibition showcases a variety of artworks in a variety of forms such as painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, multimedia and digital arts, photography, printmaking and poetry.

State Trustees recognises the importance of celebrating art and culture as it enriches lives and communities and encourages social inclusion. This year we celebrate 16 years of the CONNECTED Art Exhibition.

“I just wanted to express gratitude from all of us at NOVA Arts @ Hawthorn Community House and Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre Arts Inclusive Communities Art space for another brilliant Connected exhibition.

The artists have been thrilled to participate in the State Trustees Connected exhibition this year. It has certainly become a ritual over the past ten years which we all look forward to annually.

The process of working towards the submission deadline and preparing for the exhibition has been a valuable experience for our artists living with disability and/or mental health issues who are developing their artistic practise while participating in community arts groups.

The artists have supported one another in their groups through the success of being accepted and disappointment in not, developing an artistic professional resilience and learning that through perseverance they will eventually be selected!

The opening event with fantastic entertainment and delicious food, we all look forward to yearly. The location in Fed square has been an amazing inclusive venue that has contributed to the artists feeling visible and accepted by the general public.

The quality framing of the art works and sales have also been much appreciated.

Thankyou Andrew for all your hard work and if you could please pass on to The State Trustees how meaningful this annual event has been to the dozens of artists that I have facilitated in submitting works for over the years.”

Best wishes,
Amanda F.
Art tutor/facilitator


The Winners.

First prize
Our first prize winner is Domenico for his artwork ‘Of Course’Of this piece, Domenico says “Conviviality! That says it all.”
Domenico has won $1,000 and a 2 week exhibition at the No Vacancy Gallery in 2019.

Second Prize
Second Place was awarded to Sue Overton for her artwork ‘The Three People.’ Sue has won $500 and an art pack.

Third Prize
Third Place was awarded to Karen Butler for her artwork ’10 x 4.’ Karen has won $250 and an art pack


Allan Merigan People’s Choice Award: $500
The Allan Merrigan People’s Choice Award was won by Reenee Garling for her artwork ‘Elephant’

This prize is awarded to the most popular artwork according to the number of votes at the CONNECTED Celebration Day.

The People’s Choice Award was named after Allan Merigan, who was the manager of State Trustees’ Client Legal team. He passed away in 2008, after a year-long battle with cancer. Allan loved art and was a great patron of the State Trustees CONNECTED Art Exhibition.

From the very beginning, Allan threw his enthusiastic support behind the exhibition, buying many works, which he later donated to State Trustees for the company and our visitors to enjoy. He also made a considerable contribution to State Trustees and the Victorian community in the arena of legal policy, litigation and pro-bono work to support Victoria’s most vulnerable.

In this spirit of generosity, passion for art, life and all that this inspires in the world, the annual People’s Choice Award was re-named the ‘Allan Merigan People’s Choice Award’ in 2009.


The Office of the Public Advocate Prize – $500

The Office of the Public Advocate Award was chosen by Victoria’s Public Advocate Colleen Pearce, and was awarded to David White for his piece ‘Who Ate The Popcorn?’

David has won $500 and describes his piece as focusing on people being helped to access the Arts.
The Office of Public Advocate promotes and protects the rights and interests of people with disability, and works to eliminate abuse, neglect and exploitation.

When awarding this prize, Colleen said the idea of helping those with a disability to access things such as the Arts, was something that closely aligned with the Office of the Public Advocate’s goals.


No Vacancy Gallery is a Melbourne-based contemporary hire-gallery that provides a link between artist run initiatives and the commercial art world; showcasing local and international emerging artists, designers and curators.

Our thanks and appreciation goes out to all those who have made the CONNECTED Exhibition possible this year and we hope to see you all again in 2019.