Artists by the River

Everyone's an artist. It doesn't matter if you have a disability or not, it's about an inclusive community and that's what we're creating.

The Artists by the River project involved artists with disability who created their artwork alongside and under the tutelage of teaching artists and visiting guest artists at the gallery.

The eigth Artisit By the River exhibtion was opened by Hon. Donna Faragher MLC (Minister for Planning; Disability Services) on Tuesday 12th April 2016. This years theme was 'Sea Life' with artwork featuring mediums such as water colour, silk, clay, painting, collage and card making.

Slide Show Program 8 2016 (7.5mb PDF)
Project Outline
(289kb PDF)
Order of Proceedings (462kb PDF)
Exhibition Catalogue 2016 (19kb PDF)

 Artists -by -the -river

The Artists by the River project is a partnership between the Disability Services Commission, the Melville Community Arts Association, Fairholme Disability Support Group and four Rotary Clubs.  A focus of the program is for the participants to interact with the community using art as a form of expression. 


2016 Program 8 - Participant Portfolios

Billie Carol Denis Paul
Penny Robert Shane Audrey
Chinda Clair David Donna
Ian Janine Joshua Lucas
Maurice Peter Rosemary Stephen

Comments and Feedback:
From a very personal standpoint I find working with the artists of 'ABTR' very rewarding. It is challenging and often unpredictable, however it is obvious that the artists have enjoyed themselves. They have a sense of accomplishment after being in a positive, encouraging environment where they are actively been creative.  As the artists become increasingly at ease at the centre we usually see their practical achievements improve. Their work means they have something concrete to show for their efforts and they always respond very well to all the praise. When they leave smiling and happy, as a facilitator, I feel a strong sense of achievement myself.   I have been told by various carers that they hope they are on duty next week, so they can see how the art progresses and can continue to be part of the process. It is a happy atmosphere that we all enjoy. - Lead Facilitator

I find it thoroughly enjoyable to see the artists’ blossom over the time of the project. Their skills improve noticeably and their ability to focus also shows improvement in many cases. Most of the artists seem excited to be here and they like the social interaction while individually achieving something they can see and be complimented on. - Guest Artist and Curator

My personal experience of working with this group of artists is rewarding because I can see an improvement in their focusing and their acceptance of the Atwell environment. They look and act happy when they arrive and during each session. - Guest Artist

Thanks for the opportunity to participate. I was told I could not paint but look at my work it makes me proud. I can’t wait to tell Mum and Dad. - Participating Artist 

I didn’t think so many people would come and see our great work in particular the fishes. - Participating Artist 

Thank you to all the teachers especially Alison but also my Carer who brought me every week, you all made my day. - Participating Artist 

Thank you thank you great fun I liked getting the paint on my shirt. - Participating Artist 

Why are the teachers always so happy even when we make a mess. I don’t have to clean up. Ha ha. - Participating Artist 

Thank you for my certificate. - Participating Artist 

Look I can now show people what I have done. [Displaying both their visual diary and portfolio]. - Participating Artist 

I am glad that we could do sea life and the show it to people. It looks great. - Participating Artist 

Did you see the pretty scarf I made. I’ll be able to wear it. It is not for sale. - Participating Artist 

Did you see my Dad he was so proud of me. - Participating Artist 

I am going to put my paintings in my room for all to see. - Participating Artist 

Did you know someone bought one of my paintings and that others also did the same. - Participating Artist 

Great thought once again in making each year and consequent exhibition different and excellent as always. - Exhibition Visitor 

What more could you ask for an excellent exhibition, music and food but most of all the big smiles on the faces of the participants. - Exhibition Visitor

Thanks to all for putting such a great exhibition together. The work displayed should bear witness to all about what can be achieved despite these great artists having a disability – physical and/or intellectual – you would not know it. - Exhibition Visitor

The teaching and guest artists together with carers and others can be justly proud of what we see each time for the past 8 exhibitions. - Exhibition Visitor 

Please pass on my sincere gratitude [a parent] to all who have supported this first class project both financially and physically for I am sure without it we would not see what we are now witnessing. - Exhibiton Visitor / Parent

Whoever dreams up the different ideas [themes] each year are to be congratulated as nothing is ever dull and boring. - Exibition Visitor

I have purchased a piece of art [pottery] each year for the past 3 and proudly display on my desk which makes a good talking point. I am proud to explain their origin etc. - Exhibiton Visitor

To all who have made this project possible each year it is one of the best. Let me say thank you to all I am a proud parent who has been able to witness it all. - Exhibition Visitor

Seeing is believing this exhibition and its opening says it all. The enjoyment on the participants faces as well as the Teaching and Guest Artists as well as the Carers is something to behold. - Exhibition Visitor

We should all be in-debited to all who have continually made the project possible for the past 8 years the outcomes speak for themselves. - Exhibition Visitor 

It was good to see the support provided by the recently appointed Disability Services Minister Donna Faragher as well as the Chair Bruce Langoulant and Dr Chalmers Director General of the Commission. - Exhibition Visitor