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Last year we asked our kind donors and supporters to help us raise $70,000 to turn a disused gym into a dedicated Art Space at Bedford Panorama.

By the end of the campaign, we didn’t just hit the $70, 000 target; we actually raised over $100,000! Your generous support meant we could pay for additional resources, daily classes and clients could produce, exhibit and sell our works at events like the South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival.

Rachael Griffiths, Community Access and Lifestyle General Manager, says the Art Space has given clients the opportunity to explore their creativity and express themselves. For our non-verbal clients some of the pieces they produced were an incredible insight into their world and a unique means of communication.

“We have clients who can come to this space, grab a canvas and paints, and put something together which is a reflection of their emotions or feelings or hopes and dreams,” Rachael Griffiths said.

“We also wanted to ensure that art wasn’t just a ‘thing to do’, but an opportunity for clients to make a business out of it, and empower them to sell their own pieces and make some money outside of the traditional employment opportunities,” Rachael said.

On August 28 at Ten22 Boutique, Edwardstown, Bedford launched the careers of 40 talented artists with disability at our inaugural SALA exhibition in front of donors, families and dignitaries.

The exhibition’s title was Isolation Appreciation, as the pieces were all created solo, or in groups, with the assistance of our Support Workers during the COVID crisis, and while some clients were self-isolating.

The physical exhibition was carefully staged with social distancing in mind, and featured performing artists such as the Phoenix Allstars cheerleaders, a karaoke cover band session and the Panorama Day Options crew.

“It’s exciting for me to be able to bring people through the area, show them all the amazing pieces of artwork our clients are producing. It’s provided our clients the chance to show off their own individual, or group, pieces, and feel empowered and take great pride in the work they’ve done. It’s pretty amazing.”