OPR Supports Mid-West Aboriginal Artists with 'Good Heart'

Aboriginal Art Directory | 12.02.10

Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) is calling for mid-west Aboriginal artists to start painting and begin creating pieces for this year's ‘Good Heart' Mid West Aboriginal Art Exhibition to be held in Perth in June. OPR promoted the development of the inaugural Good Heart Exhibition in 2008, helping to bring the vision of local Aboriginal artists to reality.

Through its involvement with the exhibition OPR aims to support mid-west Aboriginal communities and help create a self sufficient business enterprise for the region's artists.

Now in its third year the community project has been a runaway success, with the first two exhibitions generating around $120 000 in sales.

OPR, as the host of the exhibition, takes no commissions, and all money generated by the sales goes directly to the artists.

"We are very pleased to be hosting the exhibition for a third consecutive year. This project is one way OPR can provide direct benefit to the people living in the mid-west communities in which we will operate," says Kim Pervan, OPR's Manager of Community and Public Relations.

"Not only do the painting sales provide a financial boost to Aboriginal people in remote communities, we are working with artisits to create a long term future for mid-west art."

OPR is the developer of the multi-billion dollar Oakajee port and rail project in Western Australia's mid-west, which will create a new port, 25 kilometres north of Geraldton, linked to regional mines by approximately 570 kilometres of rail.

OPR's support of Good Heart is comprehensive. The company and its business partners fund a Project Manager for the exhibition, co-ordinate its staging, provide paint and canvas to artists and provide support to bring remote artists and their work to Perth.

Good Heart Project Manager Nan Rickards, says that as it enters its third year the exhibition is making a difference in the lives of the artists.

"For many of the artists, seeing their work displayed, seeing people enjoying and responding to their work, and the fact that people love it enough to buy it, this provides an incredible morale boost which inspires them and their families."

"For some artists it is the first time they have experienced success. It's the first time they have been able to explore an artistic gift and have work exhibited," says Mrs Rickards.

Mrs Rickards says that due to the success of the previous exhibitions, a record number of entries were expected for the 2010 exhibition.

"OPR's support of Good Heart and its success has provided inspiration in these communities. We are seeing the number of artists increasing, and the quality and depth of their work growing." All entries are due by April 12 and emerging and previously exhibited indigenous artists interested in submitting work are encouraged to contact Mrs Rickards on 0417 184 290.

The Good Heart 2010 exhibition will be on display at the QV1, St Georges Terrace, Perth from 14 -18 June 2010.

Emerging and previously exhibited artists interested in submitting work are welcome to contact Ms Rickards on 0417 184 290. Artworks will be displayed at the 2010 Good Heart Mid-West Aboriginal Art Exhibition in the QV1 building, 250 St Georges Terrace, Perth, from 14 to 18 June, 2010. The closing date for entries is 12 April.


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