Image: Margaret Reimann, ‘The Art Gallery’ (detail), 2020, mixed media, 52 x 52 cm
(Photo: Garry Wilcox)
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 with intellectual disability and a belief in equal opportunities, As We Are was initiated in 2002 as a one-off art award and exhibition in 2002 by Rosalind Lewis from Citizen Advocacy Perth West. With resounding success and much support, the initiative continued on as an annual event each year 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 with 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.
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.
What We Do
As We Are coordinates a range of initiatives for WA artists with intellectual disability, including:
- An annual Art Award and Exhibition
- A select annual exhibition at a Perth art gallery
- A Disability and the Arts Network and respective annual Forum for artists, their family, friends and support workers, as well as arts workers and administrators
- A quarterly e-newsletter, detailing current news, opportunities and event.
As We Are has previously facilitated art workshops for children, young people and adults withn intellectual disability. We intend on running further art workshops in the future.