In April, we hosted an art exhibition as a fund raising event for our Stand up and Lead trip this year.
It featured original canvases painted by indigenous artists from the Northern Territory in Australia. The canvases were all donated to Desert2Surf for the fundraiser. The donations came from various sources, including the artists themselves, an art dealer in Katherine and friends of Desert2Surf. The exhibition also included some mounted photographs, taken by indigenous youth from the remote Northern Territory Community of Minyerri, which were a part of Desert2Surf’s earlier PhotoVoice Project. Also included in the exhibition were two surfboards, painted with original indigenous designs, from Desert2Surf’s earlier Surfing Deadly Desert Dreams Project.
The exhibition was sponsored by the owners of The Folk Alley Café (Deborah and Shaun) in St Andrews Victoria, who generously donated the gallery space and all the logistics vis a vis the promotion, sales and distribution of artworks after the exhibition closed.
An opening night was held on Saturday 9 April which was very well attended. Attendees were incredibly interested, not only in Desert2Surf but also in The GVI Trust and the way in which it has supported Desert2Surf so strongly over the years.
The absolute highlight of the opening night was the presence of two of Desert2Surf’s previous trip participants – Kahn and Tilesha. Both teenagers wanted to attend the opening to ‘help out’ on the night as a way of showing their appreciation for the many surfing trips they have had with Desert2Surf. Not only did they help with serving food and handing out programs, but Kahn also treated the audience to a fabulous performance on the didgeridoo. Kahn is a student of the world-renown indigenous musician Bart Willoughby (1993 Inaugural Indigenous Aria Australian Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for his Outstanding Contribution to Indigenous Music in Australia, a finalist in the Melbourne Music Prize and in 2014 received an ATSIC – music fellowship through the Australia Council).
By the end of the exhibition period all artworks, except for four photographs, were sold! The photographs are about to be gifted to the photographers, youth from the Minyerri Community. All money raised from the exhibition will go directly into Desert2Surf programs for kids. Specifically, Desert2Surf is still hoping to raise sufficient funds (AU$8,000) for the 2016 Stand and Lead program.
Desert2Surf is incredibly grateful to the people who donated the artworks for the exhibition, the Folk Alley Café for whole-heartedly supporting the exhibition and the people who so generously purchased the artworks.
If you would like to help us make our 2016 Stand up and Lead trip a reality, please consider making a donation.