Community arts project brings a smile

IT was all smiles at Rosny Barn in mid-December when community members from across greater Hobart gathered for the launch of the Festival of Smiles community arts project.

Spearheaded by the Tascare Society for Children, the project was developed by arts educator Roseanne McKeand in collaboration with access committees from the Clarence, Glenorchy, Hobart and Kingborough councils.

It provided an opportunity for people with a disability, support staff, schools and the community to come together to promote community connection and shared experiences through the creation of art, shared storytelling and experiences.

Tascare Society for Children executive officer Megan Cunningham said although heavy rain cancelled the major outdoor community event, this did not dampen the spirits of those involved in the project.

She said the project acknowledged drawing as a significant way of connecting and communicating with each other.

“The Rosny Barn came alive with colour as the community told their art story,” she said.

“The drawing workshops leading to the exhibition were all based on the topic, ‘what makes you smile’.

“Complemented by the artists’ words, the drawings were powerful and unique works of art that provided viewers with a greater insight into their ideas, thoughts and feelings.”

People attending the launch also had the opportunity to add and interact with the artwork, adding black and white sketches to the overall installation.

A number of project participants were also in attendance on the day to see the artwork come together.

“This exhibition gave us all a moment to stop, acknowledge and appreciate the creativity and depth of thought that each person has brought to the work and their generosity in sharing their stories with us,” Ms McKeand said.

Tascare Society for Children thanked the following organisations and community groups for their support: Li-Ve Tasmania, Langford Support Services, Mosaic Support Services, The Parkside Foundation, Taroona Primary School, Young Leaders of Tasmania and Southern Support School.

Caption: Community members attending the Festival of Smiles community arts project were invited to add a sketch to the installation. Photo credit: Ken McColl.