The Big Draw – Drawing Matters | Vancouver Arts Centre

The Big Draw – Drawing Matters | Vancouver Arts Centre

Regional Arts WA

In October of 2015, Vancouver Arts Centre and the City of Albany ran The Big Draw Festival—a range of free community workshops and activities encouraging participation in collaborative and experimental drawing practice.

The festival encouraged participation in a virtual exhibition on Instagram using the hashtag #bigdrawalbany. This virtual exhibition was then projected onto the gallery walls of Vancouver Arts Centre, which accompanied the touring exhibition ‘Drawing Matters’. The exhibitions were launched at the Big Draw Party, which saw the physical merging of community arts participation and professional arts practice and included 2D works, community created works installations, projections, music and live drawing.

The Big Draw free workshops were delivered at 9 separate sites throughout the community including the beach, shopping centres, City of Albany offices, the Town Square, Library, PCYC, Open Access Youth Arts and the Vancouver Arts Centre. In addition, a drawing masterclass for local artists was offered as a paid workshop, and was fully subscribed.

Copyright Vancouver Arts Centre

The Festival engaged a total of 486 participants, with the virtual exhibition receiving 292 submissions. The accessible and inclusive nature of The Big Draw Festival broadened audiences, strengthened and created local partnerships and engaged a wide sector of the regional community.

Project Name: The Big Draw—Drawing Matters

Funded organisation: Vancouver Arts Centre

Amount approved: $5,970

Funding program: Regional Arts Fund – Project Fund

Region: Great Southern

Part of the festival’s success was that the Arts Centre took arts and cultural activity to public places, increasing the profile of the arts centre in the community and then drawing people back to the venue. This resulted in the engagement of new audiences and community members. Providing inclusive (no cost) arts and cultural activity in public spaces during the holiday period contributed to the vibrancy of Albany’s identity. Having a focus on collaboration through drawing, saw young and old side by side drawing together. ”  Vancouver Arts Centre

A greater connection to the art centre, skills improvement and risk-taking with drawing on different surfaces and with different media, increased conceptual understanding of drawing, opportunity to be inventive and experimental without producing a masterpiece, flow on inspiration for working at home and the opportunity for young children to exhibit at the Vancouver Arts Centre was very powerful.Serena McLauchlan


The Regional Arts Fund is an Australian Government initiative supporting the arts in regional, remote and very remote/isolated Australia.

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