Girrawheen exhibition builds community

Art is more than a creative outlet – it enables people to tell their story, to contribute to the community and connect with others.

Uniting AgeWell’s Girrawheen AgeWell Centre team observed this first-hand in May when the opening of its inaugural community art exhibition attracted a crowd of more than 200 people. 

Visitors filled the centre’s hall and it was ‘standing room only’ in the garden, as people lined up to see the exhibition entitled “Belonging”.

Ninety-three works were submitted by Uniting AgeWell clients and artists associated with eight other local community organisations, including Lions Club Brighton, Connect Health Bentleigh and Brighton Art Society.

Regional Manager AgeWell Centres Melbourne, Amanda Mehegan, said there was a great feeling of community and connection at the launch event.

“In each of the works and artist statements, the creators explored what belonging meant to them and why they felt connected to something – a place, an animal or people,” she said.

“We encouraged everyone to take the time to look at the beautiful pieces and read the statements, learn about the artists’ stories and talk to our team about our programs.”

The exhibition was made possible through a generous donation from Brighton business owner and Girrawheen volunteer, Bill Dove.

‘Belonging’ continued throughout May.  Ten paintings sold throughout the exhibition, with the funds going direct to the artists.