The 20th anniversary of the Mental Health Art Works! Exhibition wrapped up on Sunday 20th October 2019. The 10-day exhibition held during Mental Health Month is a celebration of creativity and Mental Health; bringing it into the light and aiming to reduce the stigma faced by those with a lived experience of mental illness. This year’s exhibition saw over 145 artists submit entries into the exhibition and over 850 people visit the gallery to view their works and read their stories; more than double the amount of visitors at last years exhibition.
This year, artists were able to submit an entry into the exhibition between July and September. Over 145 people submit an entry into the exhibition, make it one of the biggest exhibitions in it’s 20 year history.
Artists ranged in age from 9 years old to 78 years old and came from all walks of life. To be eligible to enter the exhibition, artists must have a lived experience of mental illness; as an individual, a family member, friend or carer, or as a volunteer or worker in the mental health sector.
A range of local organisations supported this years event through sponsorship of 10 award categories. Brisbane Waters Private Hospital sponsored the Pride in Diversity Award and the Young Persons Award, which recognises artists aged 25 years and younger. BaptistCare Orana, located at Point Clare, sponsored the Wisdom in Ageing Award and local childcare company Dinky Di Early Learning Centres sponsored the Young Carers Award. The Indigenous Award was sponsored by The Glen, a local Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre.
The Central Coast Local Health District continued to show support for the event through sponsorship of three award categories, the Art of Cultures Award, the Central Coast Carers Award, and the major award of the exhibition, the Mental Health Creativity Award.
The 10-day exhibition saw over 850 visitors through the doors with, more than 500 entries cast in the viewers choice award; going to a local Copacabana artist for her mixed-media rendition of Copacabana Beach.
With the exhibition wrapping up on Sunday 20 September, Central Coast Primary Care are already looking towards 2020 and have commenced planning next years event.