The Good HeART Mid-West Aboriginal Art project is an Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) initiative that provides Indigenous artists in Western Australia’s mid-west region with the opportunity to promote their culture and showcase their works in an annual gala exhibition.
As OPR’s foundation community project the exhibition is developing into a multi-platform project to help underpin a sustainable arts business enterprise. The project reinforces a commitment by OPR to develop community benefits for the mid-west. It provides an avenue for the promotion and sale of mid-west Indigenous art; contributes to the sustainable development of mid-west Indigenous art as a self-sufficient enterprise; and provides direct support (social and economic) for Indigenous communities.
Since inception in 2008 more than 60 different Indigenous artists have exhibited over 650 contemporary and traditional works. After just five years, the 5-day exhibition attracts more than 5,000 visitors annually and has generated almost $500,000 (includes 2012) in sales, which flows directly to the artists.
The exhibition has become recognised on the Perth arts circuit, providing a vital platform to showcase mid-west Indigenous art and culture to a wide metropolitan and inter-state audience.
The exhibition has matured to the stage where it is highly anticipated by collectors, business leaders and artists alike. A range of additional platforms have been introduced to strengthen and broaden the base of the project including artist development, regional preview, acquisitions by Art Gallery of WA, production of booklet to promote culture and involvement of corporate partners.