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2 – 14 December 2019
Federation Square | Atrium

Celebrating emerging
artists with a disability
or experience of
mental illness


2-14 December 2019 | Federation Square | Atrium

We’re excited to be hosting our 17th CONNECTED in 2019. This year’s exhibition will be returning to the heart of Melbourne with the exhibition open to the public and on display in the Atrium at Federation Square.

We’ll be celebrating our artists and awarding our winners at Deakin Edge on 6 December. The Celebration Event is open to the public with artists, VIP’s, sponsors and media attending. Confirm your attendance for the Celebration Event by clicking on the link below.

We hope to see you there.

The 2019 CONNECTED Art Exhibition awards the following prizes.

First prize– $1,000

Second Prize– $500

Third Prize– $250

Allan Merigan People’s Choice Award– $500
Allan Merigan People’s Choice Award is awarded to the most popular artwork determined by vote. 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.

The Office of the Public Advocate Prize– $500
The Office of the Public Advocate Award is awarded by Victoria’s Public Advocate Colleen Pearce

View Winners

View Gallery


Celebrating artists living with a disability or mental illness.
State Trustees has long advocated for the protection and care of vulnerable Victorians, particularly those living with a disability or mental illness. CONNECTED Art Exhibition seeks to engage this community, promote social inclusion and encourage the creative expression and sharing of their unique experiences.  CONNECTED reminds us that disability and mental illness is not a barrier and that we all have the ability to create something truly special. The sold artworks also touch our lives in so many ways, with many proudly displayed in homes and offices as a daily reminder of the power of art and community.

We recognise the importance of art and culture and how it can encourage social inclusion and enrich the lives of artists and their communities.

The CONNECTED Art Exhibition was born from a passion for recognising and celebrating artists living with a disability or mental illness.

A meaningful community event

“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

Connected 2019 Judges Bios

Carla McRae

Carla McRae is a Melbourne-based illustrator.

Her drawings pull together a blank space with clean lines, geometric shapes and strong colour. Always working to create clear, simplistic and honest images, Carla’s work depicts open narratives inspired by the beauty of everyday moments, small gestures and simple pleasures.

Carla has worked and collaborated with notable local and international clients.

Select clients include Sonos, Apple, Pentagram London, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Epworth Healthcare, Scape Student Living, Remedy Kombucha, Penguin Teen Aus, Air France Magazine, Frankie Magazine, City of Melbourne, Sydney Opera House Ideas At The House, Smith Street Books, Smudge Publishing, Oxfam, International Women’s Development Agency.

David Miller

David Miller studied art at Swinburne in Melbourne. His first employer, one of Australia’s leading designers at the time, introduced him to paper sculpture. Later he worked as an art director in advertising agencies before starting his own design and illustration studio. David has been cutting and folding bits of paper since he was a three-year-old, and watching him in action is inspirational.

Harley Manifold

Harley Manifold completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Deakin University in Warrnambool in 2003 and 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 three-time finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (2015, 2017 & 2019) as well as the Salon Des Refuses of the Archibald Prize (2016).

Harley Manifold lives and paints full time in Jan Juc extending his practice to include portraits and copies of masters by commission.

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