On Friday 12 September, Act for Kids transformed Brisbanes King George Square into a pop-up art gallery filled with over 120 monster paintings to support abused and neglected kids. The event raised almost $5,000 for Act for Kids work in preventing and treating child abuse and neglect. Held during National Child Protection Week (7-13 September 2014), the event was part of campaign to raise awareness of Act for Kids intensive therapy programs and how art therapy can help kids overcome the impacts of abuse and neglect and reclaim their childhoods.
The pop-up art gallery ran from 7am-2pm, encouraging Brisbanites to help take away a childs monster by buying some artwork ($30 each), with all proceeds supporting Act for Kids. Act for Kids Ambassadors, Kay McGrath and Paul Pisasale arrived early to get best dibs on the artwork, with no two alike. The artwork was generously produced by children from Ironside Community After School Activities Group (ICASAG) and YMCA Rainworth Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) with vibrant hues of watercolours, pastels and crayons, depending on their own stories and interpretations.
Act for Kids Therapist, Angela Kretz, explains that art therapy helps abused and neglected children express themselves, enabling them to work through their experiences and identify any concerns they may have in a creative way.
Sometimes children are unable to verbalise their experiences or talk about what they are thinking or feeling, so art therapy provides the forum for them to express themselves in a non-threatening manner by drawing/painting, utilising arts and crafts materials, clay or sand to depict their experiences, Angela Kretz said.
Rob Williamson, Executive Director of Marketing, Communications and Fundraising at Act for Kids said the pop-up art gallery helped to generate community awareness and the importance of intensive therapy programs.
It was incredible to see so many people coming down to King George Square and buying artwork. There was a real buzz in the air, with lots of positive energy and smiling faces. It is clear that the artwork facilitated discussion around our work in helping children to overcome their experiences.
We use art and play therapy with little kids to help them develop a relationship with their therapist, tell stories they dont have the words for or are too scared to say out loud or to show emotions they dont have words for.
The funds raised will help us continue our free intensive therapy programs so we can help more children deal with their monsters. We want every child in need to have access to therapy and specialised treatment, and early intervention for any family at risk, Rob Williamson said.
Artwork is still available online. Visit the online pop-up art gallery: www.actforkids.com.au/art