Our month-long Art4Refugees 2016 has wrapped up!
Thanks to the generosity and dedication of contributing artists, a fantastic volunteer team, Art4Refugees sponsors, and the many people who attended our opening nights and/or purchased art, we’re proud to report Art4Refugees 2016 a wonderful success. The major fundraiser was able to support the work of SCARF by contributing over $17,000, as well as bringing together community members from diverse backgrounds to support refugees and to celebrate art in the Illawarra.
Project Contemporary Artspace Opening Night – Friday the 7th of October
The evening event at Project Contemporary Artspace was a wonderful introduction to SCARF’s annual charity art exhibition and major fundraising initiative, and a vibrant celebration of art community and culture. Attendees were spoiled with food, beverages, entertainment, inspiring speeches and of course, the display of beautiful artworks. The Opening Night raised just over $10,000 – with every dollar going directly to SCARF to help us support community members from refugee backgrounds as they settle in the Illawarra.
Torilo Studio photography
Generous Artists donated their artworks to SCARF, filling the Project Contemporary Artspace with a diverse range of mediums including photographs, paintings, sculptures and craft. Among artists who kindly donated their work are renowned Artists; Glen Preece, India Mark, Paul Ryan, Moira Kirkwood and Pamela King.
Torilo Studio photography – George Gittoes
SCARF volunteer,Kuer Bul, was our wonderful MC for the night. Richard Davis kicked off the event with a fantastic Welcome to Country, and Paul Scully representing The Hon Sharon Bird MP, gave a welcome address. Later, internationally renowned artist and film-maker George Gittoes and Archibald finalist, Blak Douglas, also engaged the crowd with animated speeches. Next, Najla Sbei, Art4Refugees featured artist and former community member from refugee background, gave a powerful speech, speaking of her journey as a refugee and inspiration as an artist. Myanmar singers ended the speeches beautifully, performing an original song dedicated to their home-country.
Executive Officer of SCARF, Sherryl Reddy, expressed her excitement towards the event:
“It’s been a fantastic turnout tonight for Art4Refugees 2016 – and a wonderful celebration of art, community and culture in support of SCARF. We’re very fortunate to have over 60 supporting Artists who have generously contributed their artwork to this exhibition”
Wollongong Art Gallery Opening Night – Friday the 14th of October
Whilst Art4Refugees has been held annually for 7 years, this year is the inaugural year of Art4Refugees exhibition as a month-long celebration, meaning artworks displayed are available at not only the Project Contemporary Artspace but also the Wollongong Art Gallery. On the evening of Friday the 14th, SCARF held the second opening night for Art4Refugees. The free event launched the exhibition at Wollongong Art Gallery, and provided an opportunity to acknowledge and thank Art4refugees volunteers and contributing artists.
The evening began with browsing the fantastic art exhibited, followed by guest performances by classical guitarist Sako Dermenjian and the Myanmar Children’s Dance group. Next, SCARF community members and volunteers Ghada, Elizabeth, Narges and Kwibe addressed the audience, giving guests insight into the refugee experience and SCARF services.
Delicious Syrian food was provided by Adnan, keeping guests fed before more art browsing and buying ensued.
Art4Refugees would not be possible without a dedicated team of volunteers and a host of generous contributing artists.
“We would like to thank the Art4Refugees coordination team, and all of the volunteers for their hard work in organising and supporting this new look, month-long Art4Refugees event. Special thanks to all the Artists whose generosity and kindness made this possible.” – Sherry Reddy
The event was also supported by a number of financial and pro-bono business supporters. We’d like to acknowledge and thank Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI), Social Impact Systems, Gerringong Sunrise Rotary Club, The Illawarra Grammar School (TIGS), Urban Timber, Permian Self Storage, Torilo Studio, Hydro Simulations, LBPR, Illawarra Master Builders, Project Contemporary Artspace and Wollongong Art Gallery.
More information at www.art4refugees.org.au