2021 Operation Art Touring 50 Exhibition Launch

The Operation Art program at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead has been brightening the walls of the Hospital and creating a welcoming environment for patients, families and staff, while also providing young artists with an authentic purpose and audience for their art-making for 25 years, and today the 2021 Touring 50 Exhibition is officially launching at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

The Touring Exhibition comprises 50 selected artworks from the 2020 Operation Art Main Annual Exhibition. The selected artworks will tour galleries across NSW throughout 2021, before becoming part of the Hospital's permanent collection. 

Opening this year’s Operation Art Touring 50 exhibition is Dr Bliss Cavanagh, a practicing artist creating sensory-based art installations and experiences.

Bliss began her artistic journey as a participant of the Operation Art program is 2000, and her Wizard of Oz themed artwork is still on display on the Hospital’s walls some 21 years later.

Bliss’ personal experience of living with Tourette syndrome has provided her with a purpose to bring sensory wellness to the world through her art.

“Operation Art was such an important part of my artistic journey and reflecting on my experiences I can really see how it played such an important role in shaping the artist I am today."

“My work was selected for Operation Art over several years of my time in primary school and I was so proud to be given the opportunity to see my work in galleries. Operation Art gave me the confidence to pursue my dream of becoming an artist and inspired a passion for all things art and health” she said.

Sophia Alexiadis, art teacher at Chullora Public School, was presented with the ‘Outstanding Teacher’ award, while her students Kevin Cunningham, Nigel Cunningham and Fatima El Ibrahim received the ‘Outstanding Student’ award for their collaboration on the artwork ‘Cockatoos on the Flood Plain’ under Ms Alexiadis’ guidance.

Ms Alexiadis said that the Operation Art program is an extremely worthwhile initiative that provides students with a chance to share their artworks with the wider community.

“The students and I are very excited to be selected for these awards, and we are so happy that artwork from Chullora Public School will be part of the permanent collection at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and we sincerely hope it helps the children that visit the Hospital” she said.  

Like most events over the last 12 months, the launch of the 2021 Touring 50 Exhibition is occurring virtually, however, the Exhibition will be open at The Art Gallery of New South Wales from the 17th – 28th of March before the artworks hit the road to be displayed at regional art galleries across NSW for the rest of this year. 

The Virtual Opening Event Video can be viewed from 3pm on the 17th of March on the Operation Art Facebook page as well as the Arts Unit website, where further information on the Touring 50 Exhibition dates and locations is available.

The Operation Art program is an initiative of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in association with the New South Wales Department of Education and the Art Gallery of NSW.