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Celebrating creativity and collaboration

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Celebrating creativity and collaboration

Arts festival showcases work from residents living with a disability.

This month’s Graceville Arts Festival will provide an outlet for Sunshine Coast residents living with a disability or mental health challenge to showcase their artistic talents.

The festival, now in its fourth year, is run by Lutheran Services’ Graceville Centre and will be open to the public from June 21-23.

Graceville Centre’s Zoe Rames says the festival is an annual celebration of creativity and collaboration.

“We celebrate the diversity of local artists in an inclusive event that attracts amazing creatives who love to return to exhibit every year,” Ms Rames says.

This year’s feature artist is award-winning Landsborough artist Bob Maas who lives with a mental illness.

Mr Maas says he uses art as therapy – combined with exercise and maintaining good thoughts – to help him manage his stress.

He has been painting for 40 years, working with oils and pastels, and regularly takes part in exhibitions on the Coast and in Brisbane.

“My favourite spot to paint is up on the hill at Maleny and I choose jacarandas or a house as a point of interest,” Mr Maas says.

Inspired by artists Hans Heysen and Vincent Van Gogh, Mr Maas graduated from the Queensland College of Art with a certificate in Applied Art and Honours in Drawing, Painting and Illustration.

“Painting is a job now and that’s why I like it. I’m working for myself and that’s great,” he says.

Funds raised from the arts festival help support creative programs for the Graceville Centre’s clients. The three-day event includes workshops, market stalls, entertainment, food and family fun.

Graceville Arts Festival will be held at St Luke’s Church, 10 Sydney Street, Nambour. Visit gracevilleartfestival.org.au.

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