Fifteen young people from Mission Australia’s Creative Youth Initiative Artworks! program have showcased more than 150 diverse and evocative artworks at a unique exhibition.

Over six to 12 months, the young artists met at the underground art studio in at the Mission Australia Centre in Sydney to create their drawings, paintings, screen-printings and a variety of sculptures using various creative techniques.

While undertaking studies through the TAFE-accredited visual arts program and creating the artworks under the guidance of a qualified visual arts teacher, the students received individually tailored support from a youth worker to address personal challenges such as homelessness, mental health issues, substance dependence, social isolation, bullying, family breakdown and unemployment.

The Creative Youth Initiative program receives no government funding and is only possible because of the generosity of incredible everyday Australians like you.

Creative Youth Initiative program manager Diana Jazic says the exhibition is a celebration of the artworks the young people have created while healing their past traumas and preparing for a positive future.

“These young people have truly embraced the process of putting their heart and soul into experimenting with a collection of concepts and mediums to create some of the most stunning and evocative artworks I have ever seen. You can see their immense talent, hope and healing journey captured in each creation,” Ms Jazic said.

“This exhibition is a great opportunity for people to immerse themselves in each young artist’s personal and creative journey and to purchase a one-off piece or collection for the home or as a gift. It’s a wonderful way to support that young artist and the program that supported them to explore their talents, develop self-confidence and a sense of worth.”

The exhibition is an annual event to celebrate the students’ creative achievements and outcomes. The majority of proceeds of all purchased artworks go to the student artists, with a small portion contributed back to the Creative Youth Initiative program.

At Creative Youth Initiative, Mission Australia offers a program where young people can explore their creativity in a free, safe and supportive environment. The program aims to provide the young person the best chance for them to learn creative skills and learn how to address their social, emotional, physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing needs.

Young people accessing Artworks! or the Sounds of the Streets music program at Creative Youth Initiative are referred from a range of services such as youth and community services, counsellors, juvenile justice, supported accommodation services, schools and TAFE. Young people can also refer themselves or can be referred by their families.

Thank you for helping these young people overcome their challenges, find healing, and take positive steps towards lives of independence.

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