Powerful connections between artist and audience

thumb-ceo-powerful-connectionsI recently read an article explaining the importance of art in our lives.

Without question, making time for more art is good for all of us.

It has the power to stir creativity, to challenge our thinking and even bring greater sense and relief to our busy lives.

When I think about what that means through the eyes of the artist, nothing makes me prouder than to be involved with the CONNECTED art exhibition.

CONNECTED celebrates the artistic talent of Victorians who live with disability or mental illness and from 16 to 28 October at Federation Square’s Yarra Gallery, it will return for its twelfth year.

It’s hard to believe how far the exhibition has come over that time, both in terms of the number and quality of artworks on display.

For artists and viewers alike, there’s an intangible value to CONNECTED that makes it unlike any other exhibition.

In the years I’ve been involved in the exhibition through State Trustees, I’ve grown accustomed to hearing one recurring comment from gallery visitors. “This artwork is great but why is it so affordable?”.

My response is always the same. I know it’s great, but how can you possibly put a price on the opportunity for an artist to have their works so publically appreciated?

Contributing artists set their own prices to sell their works through CONNECTED.

The artists are not defined by disability or mental illness, only their ability to inspire us through thought provoking art.

The 160 artworks that will be on display were selected by independent and highly influential judges from across Melbourne’s arts landscape.

As visitors take time to view and consider the amazing works, I know that they will be thinking about the energy, expression and talent that have shaped them.

That is what CONNECTED is all about.

I may never be an art critic, but I know that this exhibition is truly unique in the way it reminds us that there are no limitations when it comes to artistic talent and passion.

Take a look at last years exhibition, hopefully I’ll see you there this year.