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Art Connect South Gippsland: Celebrating art and community

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Art Connect South Gippsland is a vibrant arts advocacy group, serving as a platform to celebrate, encourage, and champion art in regional Victoria. This community initiative has introduced a needed space in Gippsland, Victoria, where artists converge to explore, learn, and collaborate, nurturing creativity and fostering an inclusive space for artists of all stages. 

The essence of Art Connect South Gippsland lies in its inclusive ethos, welcoming both evolving, and established artists alike. For those beginning, it serves to push boundaries and unearth their unique voice, whilst established artists can find a supportive environment to showcase their work and artistic statements.

At the heart of Art Connect South Gippsland is a spirit of collaboration and networking, inviting artists to come together to create, mentor, share, promote, facilitate, and learn from one another.

Initiated by two Greek Australians, George Manis (founding director) and Tony Parisi (artist/administrator), the Art Connect team also includes Nicole Smith (media advisor/photographer), and Jill Bartholomeusz.  All provide a wealth of experience, support and dedication to this artistic venture, with the guidance of advisors Doug Cain, Sarah Mackay and Rowena Ashley, who further enrich its endeavours.

Art Connect South Gippsland actively facilitates and organises events, providing a platform for artists to showcase their talent and engage with a wider audience. Although a new initiative, its efforts have been recognised with nominations for ‘Community Event of The Year’ awards in both 2022 and 2023, a testament to its contribution to the local art/cultural landscape:

The essence of Art Connect South Gippsland lies in its inclusive ethos, welcoming both evolving, and established artists alike.

Launched in 2023, “The Art Connect South Gippsland Art Trail” was nominated for an Australia Day 2024 Community Event of the Year Award.  The open studio Art Trail was highly successful in achieving its following objectives:

  1. Attracting visitors to regional Victoria (South Gippsland), promoting the region’s creative industries—artists, galleries, and hospitality providers.
  • Showcasing the diverse range of fine arts and crafts, making artists’ works more accessible to the public through artists’ open studios and various hospitality venues offering exhibition space, creating opportunity for interaction between locals and visitors and allowing glimpses into creative processes.
  • Fostering collaboration within the arts community and between other sectors, such as connecting artists with each other, with local galleries and art groups in different towns.
  • Contributing to arts businesses and activities by creating new income streams for artists, such as selling their work through the Arts Trail.
  • Engaging with Shire Councils to facilitate the Arts Trail Event as an ongoing annual event.
  • Identifying/developing a comprehensive database of practicing regional artists in South Gippsland.

Art Connect South Gippsland’s events have been proudly supported by local Shire Council and Regional Arts Victoria, strengthening its connection to a broader artistic network and resources.

Art Connect South Gippsland isn’t merely an organisation, it is a collective passion that thrives on the amalgamation of diverse artistic expressions, fostering an environment where art is nurtured, celebrated, and cherished. It is a catalyst for creativity, and a testament to the power of community-driven initiatives.

  • For more information about Art Connect South Gippsland, email artconnectsouthgippsland@gmail.com  
  • Visit Art Connect South Gippsland’s Facebook page and Instagram @art_connect_southgippsland
  • Links to events and publications can also be found in the Greek Australian Artist Directory (GAAD).
Art Connect South Gippsland poster

Art Connect South Gippsland is one of many artists/art groups who have participated in the GAAD. An initiative by the Greek Australian Cultural League (GACL), the GAAD celebrates Greek Australian visual and performing artists and art groups by showcasing their works and contributions to the Australian arts landscape.  By preserving and promoting the artistic legacy of Greek Australians, the directory ensures that their talents and contributions are duly acknowledged and cherished, cementing their place in Australia’s artistic narrative.

Those interested can register their profiles by visiting www.gacl.com.au and clicking on the dedicated GAAD section.  For any inquiries related to the GAAD, individuals can either email GACL President Cathy Alexopoulos infogaclm@gmail.com or contact GAAD Co-ordinator Vasy Petros on 0412 242557

*Written by Vasy Petros. This is a Greek Australian Cultural League Initiative supported by The Greek Herald.

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