Art from the Margins (AFTM) began as a program to support homeless artists. The idea was born in a Brisbane park beside a coffee van when a member of the Albert Street Uniting Church’s Servant Network was talking with Austin Hellier, an artist living in isolation. Austin spoke about the challenges confronting homeless artists who wanted to display their work to the public. He asked questions like 'How could he participate in the wider arts community?'
Wesley Mission Queensland made the commitment to support artists whose creative development was limited by homelessness, disability, disadvantage or social isolation, and from there, Art from the Margins was created.
Austin's dream was realised when he exhibited in the first Art from the Margins exhibition in the Albert Street Uniting Church, which was part of the 2008 Brisbane Festival. In 2014, the Art from the Margins Brisbane Festival Art Exhibition attracted over 400 entries from 280 artists – the biggest number of participants in AFTM's history.
Now, Art from the Margins (AFTM) is a not-for profit association and is a creative initiative of Wesley Mission Queensland. Our aim is to demonstrate our commitment to a just, compassionate and inclusive society.
Chairperson - Dr Ian Airey
Ian Airey is Chair of the AFTM Board and has held a leadership role with AFTM since its inception. He is a member of the Albert Street Uniting Church, is Chair of the Wesley Mission Queensland Council and member of the WMQ Board.
Ian has been active in community services through not for profit organisations for over thirty years and has contributed to the oversight of these services through Board membership. He has an interest in the governance of community organisations. He has a long held interest in the visual art and has contributed to the arts as a chorister. Professionally, Ian is an anaesthetist, currently employed by Mater Health Services.
Deputy Chairperson - Anne Copland
Anne joined the board for Art from the Margins in 2017 and is the Deputy Chair. She recently retired from her career in which she held a number of roles as a Registered Nurse with membership of several professional boards.She is now a member of other boards including the Centre for Practical Spirituality of the Merthyr Road Uniting Church where she attends, and the board for Burnie Brae Community Centre at Chermside. This is an organisation that serves for social connection and health community. Anne also visits hospitals as a pastoral carer and frequently spends free time as an artist, a reader, and a motorbike pillion passenger.
Dr Philip Hall
Dr Philip Hall is a gynecologist with 30 years of private and public specialist practice in prolapse and incontinence surgery. While embracing new techniques, Dr Hall has been at the forefront of specialised and innovative treatments across a wide range of conditions involving the pelvis. Dr Hall trained at Monash University and holds multiple Fellowships with various medical colleges and travels extensively throughout Australia teaching surgical skills to other Specialists and supervising their training in new techniques. Dr Hall is currently the Director of the St Andrew’s Pelvic Medicine Centre as well as the honorary Curator at the St. Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital.
Reverend Peter Hobson
Peter developed a passion for theology by reading The Coast of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in which he learned about the costly grace that God offers to each and every person. In fact, Peter found the story of God's love for the world so compelling that it changed his life. Over the years, Peter has worked as a full-time musician and an audio technician; a youth worker and a congregational minister; he has served as a chaplain at high school, at university, and through community care; and he has taught theology, ethics, biblical studies, pastoral care and the practice of ministry in churches, schools and universities. In 2014, Peter completed a PhD on hermeneutics, discipleship and narrative theology. Together with his wife janet, Peter has a blended family with six adult children, and together they love listening to music, going to the movies, bush walking and enjoying the company of family and friends.
Jan Manton is the Director of Jan Manton Art based in Spring Hill, QLD. She has been a long time supporter of the visual arts in Queensland. Jan Manton currently sits on the Art from the Margins Committee and The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital Arts Program Committee.
Jan Manton past roles include: Chair QUT Art Museum Fund Raising Campaign, Chair Churchie Emerging Art Prize, Chair Flying Arts Alliance, Member QUT Art Collection, Member Steering Committee Harries Digital Art Award, and Member Caboolture Shire Council Art Collection Supported Byran-Manton Art Prize for QUT Visual Art Graduates.
Jennifer is a consulting professional with a background in project management, change management and business analysis. She has over 15 years demonstrated experience across the Private and Public Sector spanning multiple industries. Jennifer’s passion for the community is centred around enabling individuals and businesses to be the best versions of themselves possible. She enjoys from working on initiatives that contribute to improving quality of life for others through her role as a consultant and AFTM board member. Jen has been an active board member and fundraiser with AFTM for over 5 years, engaging the community through grass roots fundraising initiatives and developing strategic direction for the program, board and fundraising.
Sharyn has more than 18 years as a nonprofit fundraiser, leading teams to raise vital funds to prevent suicide, support disadvantaged children and families, engage homeless people, and sustain faith-based organisations. She worked in management roles at Wesley Mission Sydney for 8 years, and currently is Philanthropy Officer for the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology. In 2016, she received the international CFRE professional fundraising credential, and is committed to helping people live out their values through being generous.
As a Director for over twenty-five years, Mark Trotter has contributed significantly to the continual growth and leadership of Fulton Trotter Architects. Mark became a Director after successfully fulfilling the role of Associate ‘in residence’ opening our Northern Rivers office in 1982. He was the first new Director of the practice since 1966. Throughout his leadership, Mark has carefully managed the practice through the challenging financial crisis in the early 1990s and the successful transition from the practice’s earlier generation of partners.
"The coloured jigsaw puzzle pieces (ultilising 3 primary colours) represent different organisations or individuals in the community coming together to support a confident, capable and equipped artist. I deliberately kept the design open, so more puzzle pieces could be joined without limitation. The artist depicted is specifically gender neutral.
In its first year, the AFTM exhibition and awards consisted mainly of materials, tuition and artistic development opportunities. So I equipped the artist with all the materials needed to produce an artwork. This graphic also highlights AFTM's goal of enabling people experiencing disadvantage to engage in the arts and through that, our community".
Lisa Blake – AFTM Artist was commissioned to design the AFTM logo.