Art group paints an inclusive picture

6 October 2017

For Belinda Cini, joining the All Aboard Art and About group has been emotion-filled in more ways than one. Not only has she experienced the range of feelings that come with preparing for a debut art exhibition, she’s also been able to better identify her emotions in everyday life.

Art and About meets weekly as part of All Aboard – a Surf Coast-based group that offers people with a disability an opportunity to develop new skills and connect with their community.

Belinda and her fellow five members of the art group will unveil their opening exhibition Emotions Unmasked at Surf Coast Art Space in Anglesea on 20 October.

Since Art and About formed in February, it has been creating items for the exhibition. Through their work, members have learnt how to identify their emotions so they can understand them more.

“(At the start) it was challenging and I was nervous,” said Belinda when asked how it felt to create pieces.

Eight months on, her confidence has grown. It’s easy to see why, with Art and About providing a supportive environment with a motto of ‘no mistakes’.

Emotions Unmasked will run from 20 to 30 October at Surf Coast Art Space, which celebrated its one-year anniversary last week. The Art and About exhibition will feature a variety of works, such as self-portraits, collages, mixed media, paper mache and mosaic.

“I’m excited and nervous,” Belinda, 32, said. “I hope people like our work.”

All Aboard offers numerous activities, including volunteering at the Anglesea Resale Shed, Free Range Fridays at Freshwater Creek Cottages, and social outings on weekends. The community-driven service was established by a small group of parents who shared a vision to create inclusive community options for Surf Coast teenagers and adults with a disability.

Surf Coast Shire Council contributed funds to assist with the group’s promotion and marketing, and to purchase material to establish programs. Community members have donated art supplies and volunteered their time and expertise to teach the Art and About participants.

“It’s fantastic to see these budding artists improving each session, and to learn that their confidence is increasing,” Councillor Rose Hodge said.

“I’m sure their debut exhibition will be a success. I encourage art lovers to get along to Surf Coast Art Space and view their work.”

Surf Coast Art Space is located Shop 2, 103 Great Ocean Road, Anglesea (corner of Noble Street). It is open daily from 11am to 5pm.

People with disability from the Surf Coast or Greater Geelong are welcome to join All Aboard. For more information, contact Kate Marshall kmarshall@allaboard.org.au or 0409 974 137.