Operation Art continues to inspire our state’s future artists

For 25 years, Operation Art has inspired student creativity and compassion, and helped create career pathways for young people interested in the visual arts.

Not only is Operation Art a platform to display children’s art at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, it also provides schools and students from across the state with an opportunity to demonstrate their visual arts achievements through exhibitions at the Armory Gallery in Sydney Olympic Park and the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW).

Lilia Jackson, who first participated in Operation Art in 2005, was inspired to study visual arts for her HSC, subsequently being selected for ARTEXPRESS and even speaking at the AGNSW to open an exhibition for Operation Art.

Lilia says, “Operation Art was definitely inspirational and instrumental in leading me to where I am, especially in delivering a talk at the AGNSW in 2013. Giving that speech was my moment of realisation in that I was sure I wanted to work in museums. Today, I’m more motivated than ever to empower other young minds to pursue their passion of the visual arts – if I can do it, you can too.”

Lilia has since completed a Bachelor of Arts Theory (Honours) and been accepted into a Masters of Research Art: Exhibition Studies at the University of Arts in London.

“To watch young artists gain confidence and self-esteem from being involved in this program is incredible to witness, but to see some of the students transform their passion into a career reinforces the positive impact it can have on budding artists,” says Ivy Baddock, Art Curator at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Since its inception in 1995, the annual exhibition has grown to include over 700 artworks and is currently held at the Armory Gallery at Sydney Olympic Park. Fifty artworks from this exhibition are selected every year to become part of the collection. As a result, there are over 1,000 artworks from the program hanging throughout The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Operation Art is an initiative of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in association with the NSW Department of Education.

For more information on Operation Art or to become involved in this year’s program, visit https://www.artsunit.nsw.edu.au/visual-arts/operation-art.