The Reclink Kaleidoscope Art Festival was a great success. Dave McGettigan was one of the artists featured at the festival. Below are Dav's recflections on opening night.
"Kaleidoscope Art Festival kicked off tonight a good crowd of people coming to hear the Speech by Reclink CEO John Ballis and to see the artwork produced by some very talented artists.
The artists come from art classes and programs held at Mission Australia, Wesley Mission and Ozenam Learning Centre, Odessey House, Wayside Chapel, Anglicare and Rough Edges. Most have experienced some marginalisation which has led them to seek help and socialisation through these various agencies.
In his speech, John Ballis praised the agencies and their co-ordinators for their outstanding work. It was great to meet Deb Herbert from Wesley Mission, Emma Grammenos from Mission Australia and Cat Guiliano from Ozenam Learning Centre. With each artpiece the artist has written a small biography to accompany the work, telling a little of the story of how they came to be involved with the art programs of the various charity. John said it was enlightening to see where these artists have come from and what they can achieve with the assistance of the programs.
Artist Ray Morgan expressed that art was his outlet of expression. It has helped him in his recovery and rehabilitation and he is inspired by the people he meets in the classes.
Stephen Corry said that the art programs allowed him to interact with others. He said that amidst the turmoil of everyday life, he feels at piece when he is drawing and it allows him to contribute to society.
David McGettigan said that as a person with mental illness it was important for him to mix with people to assist his socialisation skills. It was joining the art class at Mission Australia where he first developed his skills and gained confidence to do some further education and is now studying art and literature at Australian Catholic University."