Housing Choices Western Australia’s annual Tenant Art Showcase has become a highly anticipated and well-attended event, celebrating the diverse creative talents of our tenant communities.
Last week, 70 artistic works created by more than 25 tenant artists were exhibited to an appreciative audience of Housing Choices WA residents, Housing Choices Australia Group board directors and staff.
Having experienced the isolating impact of COVID-19, the event was a welcome opportunity for tenants and staff to reconnect in a safe environment.
“Seeing artists, staff and board members chatting and laughing together and sharing their favourite pieces was such a joy,” Housing Choices WA General Manager – Community Housing Natalie Sangalli said.
“It’s such a fantastic opportunity to make tenants the stars of the show and I can see this event getting bigger and better in the coming years.”
The inaugural art show in 2018 displayed 25 works at Housing Choices WA’s Rivervale office. This year, the event was held in historic Hamilton Hill Memorial Hall, reflecting increased artistic output and engagement. The display included a variety of disciplines including painting, poetry, photography, woodwork, embroidery and craft.
A People’s Choice Award uncovered some crowd favorites, with top honours going to photographer Phillip Day for his stunning beach landscape photo and self-taught photographer and wildlife carer Jesse Steele for her sensitive portrayal of native birds. Phillip and Jesse each received a $200 gift voucher.
A photo booth set up especially for the occasion captured artists with their work, making it a true celebration of their efforts and leaving them with a memento to mark the auspicious occasion. Many tenants spoke of the positive effects art has on their mental health and general wellbeing.
Housing Choices WA’s 2021 Tenant Art Showcase was the first major event for the company following its rebrand from Access Housing in July 2020 when it joined the Housing Choices Australia Group. To mark the occasion, Housing Choices Australia board directors based in Adelaide, Hobart and Melbourne flew in to join Perth-based directors to meet and mingle with WA tenants and celebrate their artistic endeavours.
Housing Choices WA Tenant Engagement and Capacity Building Officer Alex Kepes said the annual Tenant Art Showcases had uncovered a wealth of talent and sparked positive change in the lives of many tenants since the inaugural event in 2018.
“After realising we had several artists in one complex alone, the exhibit just grew as we came across more and more tenants with creative talent,” Alex said.
“It’s been an absolute joy to witness the growth in confidence and skills of our tenant artists.
“The showcase is a wonderful opportunity for tenants to meet and share their work and inspirational stories with others.
“Art for many of our tenants has become a passion, which has helped them mentally and brought so much positivity to their lives and to their friends and families. We are humbled by their generosity in sharing their work.”