Joel Peachey Susie Waller

Joel Peachey, Hyde Park Autumn (detail), 2012, oil on canvas

Photograph: Susie Waller

Who We Are

As We Are is an important community initiative in Western Australia that aims to bring joy and wellbeing to the lives of artists who have an intellectual disability and those who are part of the experience.

Inspired by the creative expression of artists who have an intellectual disability and a belief in equal opportunities, As We Are was initiated in 2002 as a one-off art award and exhibition and has grown to become a prestigious and significant event on the WA arts calendar.  The initiative has also expanded to include a number of projects aimed at recognising and valuing the creative expression of WA artists who have an intellectual disability and their contribution to the Western Australian arts and broader community.

Through the years As We Are has been supported by the dedication and passion of diverse individuals and organisations in coordinating this initiative.  It is a project that is not owned by any one organisation but is organised by a community who is moved by the foundational ethos and spirit of As We Are, the inspiring and creative achievements of artists who have an intellectual disability, and the exciting possibilities and potential of things to come.

What We Do

As We Are coordinates:

  • An annual Art Award and Exhibition for Western Australian artists who have an intellectual disability
  • A select exhibition for Western Australian artists who have an intellectual disability
  • A Disability and the Arts Network and respective forums for artists who have an intellectual disability, their family, friends and support workers, as well as arts workers and administrators
  • A quarterly newsletter, detailing disability and the arts articles, artist profiles and upcoming events.

As We Are has previously facilitated art workshops for children, young people and adults who have an intellectual disability.  We intend on running further art workshops in the future.

History

As We Are is an important community initiative that brings much joy and wellbeing to Western Australian artists who have an intellectual disability and to many who have come to experience the project.  In 2002, inspired by the creative expression of artists who have an intellectual disability and a belief in equal opportunities, Rosalind Lewis from Citizen Advocacy Perth West initiated As We Are as a one-off exhibition and art award for all to see and experience.  With resounding success and much support, the initiative continued on as an annual event each year, with artists who have an intellectual disability and wider communities working as one to organise the finest exhibition possible.

As We Are is a project that is not owned by any one organisation but by the artists supported by a diverse and growing community who have been moved by the ethos, the achievements of artists who have an intellectual disability, the level of joy and excitement of opening nights and by the potential of things to come for As We Are.

For further information on the origin and history of As We Are, please read ‘The Origins of WA’s As We Art Exhibition,’ by Rosalind Lewis.

Our Reason For Being (Mission)

As We Are’s mission is to develop and coordinate opportunities that recognise the intrinsic value of Western Australian artists who have an intellectual disability and their contribution to society through art awards and exhibitions, art advocacy and education, and artistic skills development.

 

Click here to download an As We Are brochure.