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MCM art show: a weekend of celebration, recognition and inclusion

Group of people at the MCM Bendigo Art Show 13 November 2023

On the weekend of Friday 10th - Sunday 12rh November, the 2023 MCM Art Show, We Grow Together, took place in Bendigo at Dudley House. The show celebrated diversity and artistic expression, with exhibiting artists comprised of individuals connected through MCM Support Coordination services, featuring a range of art forms, from watercolours and paint to diamond work.

The weekend kicked off on Friday night with a private opening was held for the artists, their friends and family, special guests, and MCM Group staff. Operations General Manager Sean Spencer welcomed the attendees, followed by an official opening by City of Greater Bendigo Deputy Mayor Councillor Matthew Evans and Welcome to Country from Djaara Traditional Owner Jason Kerr. They were graced with a live performance by legendary long-time local country music singer and guitarist Kim Ritchie.

Around 40 attendees came through the exhibition over the weekend, including MCM staff, artists and their families, Bendigo locals, and mutual disability service providers, some of whom were so impressed with the art they wanted to purchase it.

“We have facilitated contact between them and the artist to discuss sales!” said Business Relationships and Growth Manager Bronwen Gourley.

“Thank you to our donors, staff, community members and displaying artists. I also wanted to acknowledge and thank the MCM staff who contributed many hours to pull this event together, Amelia, Sally, Janet, Bronwen and Kristy, as well as the Bendigo Support Coordination team for encouraging your participants to be a part of this event and providing a safe and inclusive space to share their work.

It’s not easy to be so vulnerable, and our participants have been so generous and brave to be featured here tonight. We also appreciate the ongoing support of the Bendigo community for our participants and for this event, and thank you to both Councillor Jennifer Alden and Deputy Mayor Councillor Matthew Evans for your attendance.

Many of our participants have used art as a medium of expression, a place of peace and a therapeutic activity, and we are very grateful to be able to view and appreciate the efforts of every piece. For some of our participants, their artistic journey is quite new, starting during COVID as a way to still connect with others and their community, particularly virtually. MCM is passionate about working to break down barriers for those living with a disability, pushing for equal opportunities and to participate fully in the life of their community. We are hoping this event is the start of a great journey, and we hope to be back again next year with more to share.” – Sean Spencer 

Overall, the 2023 MCM Art Show, We Grow Together, was a huge success, and we aim to introduce it as an annual event - a huge congratulations to all involved!

Collage of photos taken at the MCM Bendigo art show
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