The Blue Fringe Art and Literature Festival launches for the first time as a virtual exhibition on Saturday, October 24.
Blue Fringe celebrates the creativity of people with lived experience of mental illness and aims to create positive conversations around mental illness and the benefits of creativity to support good mental health and wellbeing.
This important community event is now in its 28th year and is recognised as a significant event on the Mountains cultural calendar. The 2020 festival has received over 100 entries from local artists, writers and crafts people in the categories of art, sculpture, textiles, photography, poetry and short stories.
"The quality and range of work submitted this year is truly amazing," said Imelda Eames from Springwood Neighbourhood Centre and member of the Blue Fringe committee. "We have received some very strong work for our youth categories this year and for many entrants, this is the first time they have ever entered Blue Fringe or any other public exhibition."
The exhibition can be viewed online as a virtual 3D gallery on the website www.bluefringe.org.au and the awards announcements will be streamed on the website and on www.facebook.com/BlueFringeArts.
The Blue Fringe 2020 judging panel will award monetary prizes in each of the 12 categories and all work entered will be printed in a collection of works coffee table book, which will be another first for the event this year.
"While we will miss gathering the community together in a physical way to celebrate all of the amazing work this year, we are excited about the possibilities and new opportunities that going virtual will bring," said committee member Karen Stevenson. "An engaging online exhibition will allow us to share the work and the message of Blue Fringe with a much wider audience and engage a whole lot of people we would never have reached otherwise."
The organising committee for Blue Fringe is made up of workers from Springwood Neighbourhood Centre, Belong Blue Mountains, Stride and Blue Mountains Women's Health and Resource Centre, together with a committed and passionate team of volunteers.
Along with a number of generous local businesses, the Blue Mountains City Council has supported the festival for many years and has recognised the important role the event plays in our community and in generating positive conversations around mental health. This year the Blue Mountains City Council fully funded the event.
For more information on Blue Fringe go to www.bluefringe.org.au or call Springwood Neighbourhood Centre on 4751 3033 or Belong Blue Mountains on 4782 1117.