Meeting Place Award brings disability arts to the fore

This year for the first time the Mandurah Stretch Arts Festival will include an art competition specifically for artists with a disability: the Meeting Place Art Award.

Elli Moody, Tennille O’Neill and Kellee Aberg have long been passionate about giving people with a disability the opportunity to partake in arts, and with the support of the City of Mandurah, will help to bring a focus on inclusion to the annual arts festival.

Ms O’Neill is the team leader at Ability Arts in Greenfields, so she has experienced first-hand the importance of art for people with a disability.

“It gives them a good outlet, and it helps them to build their skills… It’s capacity building, fine motor skills, and creating is good for their wellness,” Ms O’Neill said.

She hopes the award will give entrants the opportunity to show what they’re capable of as artists.

“There’s lots of art awards, and often I think people forget that you can have a disability and you’re an artist as well, and it’s good to recognise them… it gives them a real meaningful outcome,” she said.

“You don’t know when it’s up on the wall if someone who’s painted something had a disability or not.”

The award has a 2D and 3D category, and Ms O’Neill hopes to attract entries in a range of mediums, whether it’s sculpture, photography, drawing, painting, or any other form.

To enter an artwork, contact meetingplaceart@gmail.com or call 0424 142 866.

The exhibition will be held at the Falcon eLibrary from April 29 – May 13.