Celebrating the colours of community

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Creativity has helped facilitate a sense of community amongst the ladies at Shepparton’s Lifestyle Communities, who have been hard at work painting and crafting in preparation of a selection of their pieces exhibiting in Melbourne this month.

The group of about 20 meets up weekly to paint, relax and enjoy each other’s company. There’s a sense of camaraderie in the painting space with constant words of encouragement and fresh ideas bounced around the spritely group. A few members of the group are seasoned painters but most are just excited to be trying something new.

Recently, the group have been hard at work creating pieces to be judged for the inaugural Simpson Arts Prize in Melbourne. The only requirement for the competition was that their painting pertained to facets of life at Lifestyle Communities.

So off they went; painting, sketching, cartooning, crafting, sewing and creating various artworks reflective of life out at the community.

Some chose to depict a particular scene at Lifestyle, such as Margaret Lake’s gorgeous watercolour painting ‘Autumn.’ The piece, which depicts the archway near the Community Hub draped in the stunning colours of autumn leaves, is one of eight winning artworks to be taken to Melbourne.

The overall winning piece from the local exhibitions is a collaborative cartoon between several members of community art group featuring dozens of images showcasing the different leisure and activities available at Lifestyle: croquet, tennis, line dancing, billiards, happy hour cocktails, Zumba, swimming… the list goes on!

Art group coordinator and Lifestyle Communities resident, Marcia Grieg said creativity helps facilitate a sense of freedom amongst participants.

“Many of these ladies have never painted before and it’s nice for them to step out of their comfort zone and be involved in something social and creative,” she said.

“We all have fun together participating as a group and contributing back to the community. We are also hard at work creating pieces that will be going in the forthcoming Shepparton Agricultural Show.”

The eight pieces of art from Lifestyle Communities are going in the draw to win a top prize of $1000, to be judged by a panel that includes Channel Nine weather presenter, Livinia Nixon. The Simpson Art Prize show will be held at the Melbourne Pavilion on Wednesday, August 28.