2017 CONNECTED Art Exhibition

15 years of CONNECTED art and culture

Monday 23 October 2017 – Friday 3 November 2017

State Trustees CONNECTED Art Exhibition was established in 2003 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.

State Trustees recognises the importance of celebrating art and culture as it enriches lives and communities and encourages social inclusion. This year we celebrate 15 years of the CONNECTED Art Exhibition. Join us in celebrating this milestone achievement at

2017 CONNECTED Art Exhibition

  • WHEN: Monday 23 October 2017 – Friday 3 November 2017
  • TIME: 10:00am – 6:00pm daily
  • WHERE: No Vacancy Gallery & The Atrium, Federation Square, Melbourne
  • ADMISSION: CONNECTED Art Exhibition is a free event for the people of Victoria

The exhibition showcases a variety of artworks in the following forms – painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, multimedia and digital arts, photography, printmaking and poetry. This is a great opportunity to purchase affordable original artwork and support our artists.

An online gallery will feature the artworks displayed at the exhibition and can be viewed online here from 10am AEST Monday 23 October 2017.

Celebration Event

  • WHEN: Tuesday 31 October 2017
  • TIME: 12:30 pm – 2:00pm
  • WHERE: Deakin Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne
  • ADMISSION: CONNECTED Art Exhibition Celebration is a free event for the people of Victoria.

        Get tickets here


The first, second, third and OPA prize will be announced at the Celebration Event. The winner of the Allan Merigan People’s Choice Award will be announced Thursday 9 November 2017.

2016 winners

2016 CONNECTED Art Exhibition prize winners

About the judges

Harley Manifold

Harley Manifold was born in Camperdown, Victoria in 1982. In 2003 he completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Deakin University in Warrnambool. He then went onto complete his Honours in Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne as the only non – previous student in his year. He has been included in numerous art prizes and group exhibitions. On three occasions he has been a finalist in Australia’s richest art prize for emerging artists, The Metro Art Award, and consecutively for the previous two prizes. Also a finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (2015) and the Salon Des Refuses of the Archibald Prize (2016).

His works are in numerous private collections in Australia, as well as France and America. And has held numerous solo shows in Melbourne, including shows in Perth and Adelaide. https://harleym.net/

Katherine Gailer

Katherine Gailer is a committed multidisciplinary artist. She graduated with honours from a Bachelor of Fine Arts and completed an Arts Management Masters Degree – both at RMIT University. Her practice incorporates painting, drawing and graphic design.
‘My artistic ex­pression underscores a main theme that looks at the complex relationship between fragility and strength, vulnerability and empowerment. My artworks can be interpreted as a series of confronting tensions to articulate the essence of the feminine as a force of relatedness in our world today. My compositions call upon the wild woman, her connection to the land and explore the mysterious realms of the feminine underworld.’ https://katherinegailer.com/

The prizes

First prize: $1000 + a 2 week exhibition at No Vacancy Gallery, Federation Square in 2018
Second prize: $500, Third prize: $250
(Determined by the judging panel)
Allan Merigan People’s Choice Award: $500
(Determined by the number of votes in the online gallery)
Office of the Public Advocate Prize: $500
(Determined by the OPA representative)

Allan Merigan People’s Choice Award

The Allan Merigan People’s Choice prize is awarded to the most popular artwork according to the number of votes in the online gallery.

Voting is open from 10am AEST Monday 23 October 2017 through to 5pm AEST Friday 3 November 2017.

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.

Office for the Public Advocate Prize

The Office of Public Advocate promotes and protects the rights and interests of people with disability, and works to eliminate abuse, neglect and exploitation.

In 2016, the Office of the Public Advocate Prize was awarded by Victoria’s Public Advocate Colleen Pearce.
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