We’re going to need a bigger gallery

Organisers may need a larger venue for the next Challenge Community Service art exhibition if the turnout to Tuesday’s wine-and-cheese night is anything to go by.

Art-lovers and supporters rubbed shoulders and jostled for space to view the artworks, with pieces by the prolific Matthew Coker proving popular with purchasers.

Vanessa Harvey’s stunning sketches are in themselves memorable, but the story behind them adds to their appeal. Vanessa chose three celebrities (Mel Gibson, Stephen Fry and Catherine Zeta Jones) living with bipolar disorder and depicted each in the throes of joy and throes of despair. She is building an enviable reputation as an artist, working off photos to produce her detailed and accurate depictions.

Vanessa was unable to attend but mum Melissa said her greeting cards are available at the Visitor Information Centre and other outlets. Mrs Harvey said she appreciated Challenge’s support in encouraging Vanessa in her pursuit of art as an outlet.

Kelsie Ellis’s stylish stationery and decorative items that she’s now producing under her Coco brand were much admired, and other clients and staff also contributed to the artistic offerings.

The exhibition was a highlight of the centre’s open day, showcasing the disability support services it offers.