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Nature inspires SALA artists

Peter and Anne Laffer from ACH Group's McLaren Vale Art Group

A love of the natural world is the inspiration behind ACH Group’s South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival works this year.

This year artists have submitted pieces that relate to the theme: ‘Reconnecting with nature – people, places and plants’.

Artist Francine Jacques’ oil painting ‘Storm at Port Noarlunga’ has been chosen for the 2017 poster and artwork used to promote ACH Group’s SALA venues.

Francine, who is a resident of Perry Park at Port Noarlunga, has been a regular exhibitor since ACH Group first became involved in the festival seven years ago. A committed artist, Francine continued to paint after a stroke by switching from her right hand to her left, andis looking forward to being involved again this year. “I always look at the skies around me – whether it’s raining, cloudy, blue, a sunset or sunrise. I like looking at the sky. I think that’s why they feature so much in the landscapes that I like to do.”

Francine will join a group of other artists at the official opening of SALA at the Art Gallery of South Australia on Friday 28 July.

ACH Group SALA Curator Gianna Miller says the festival acknowledges the value of artistic expression as an integral part of everyday life.

“It brings art to the community and fosters the community through art,” she says. “Our long-standing involvement with SALA i just one way in which ACH Group has been able to demonstrate its Healthy Ageing Approach to support people in our residential living homes to ‘choose to be active, remain connected and engage in what they love to do’.”

Festival Chair John Hill, who is also ACH Group Board Director, says in its 20th year, the month-long open access festival has become an important celebration of artists and the arts community.

“This is the time of year when we shine a light on the creativity and visions of South Australian artists,” he says. “This festival provides a platform for visual artists of every type, working in every medium at every level of skill and experience in every part of our state.”

SALA Festival Director Penny Griggs says being part of SALA provides many advantages for emerging and established artists.

“The event offers emerging artists a platform to exhibit outside of their training institution, and established local gallery spaces make an annual commitment to South Australian artists.”

ACH Group’s SALA venues are: Toop & Toop, 84 King William Road, Goodwood; Plato’s Philosopher’s Kitchen, 164 King William Road, Hyde Park; The Ark Clothing Co. 124 King William Road, Hyde Park; Woodcroft Community Arts Centre, 175 Bairns Road, Morphett Vale; and Milpara Residential Living, 147 St Bernards Rd, Rostrevor.