Artists from charity organisation The Torch’s Indigenous Arts in Prison & Community (IAPC) Program will exhibit for the first time at a major art fair with an exhibition at this year’s Affordable Art Fair Melbourne, running from 1 – 4 September 2022 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Selected as the official Charity Partner of Affordable Art Fair Melbourne, The Torch exhibition will feature the work of eight Indigenous artists.
Four of those artists’ artwork have also been used to wrap The Torch’s four new Toyota RAV4 hybrids, one of which will be displayed adjacent to the Torch exhibition stand for the duration of Affordable Art Fair Melbourne.
Toyota Australia and Toyota Finance Australia are proud supporters of The Torch and have funded the wrapping and artist licence fees for the new RAV4 hybrids.
The Toyota RAV4s will be used by The Torch Indigenous Arts Officers to visit prisons and communities across Victoria to carry out its arts programs with Indigenous offenders and ex-offenders.
The Torch Chief Executive Officer Kent Morris said he was extremely grateful for the support of Toyota Australia, Toyota Finance Australia and Affordable Art Fair Melbourne in helping to raise awareness of The Torch program and give its Indigenous artists a major stage from which to earn an income.
“Exhibiting at Affordable Art Fair Melbourne and having the four new wrapped RAV4s will give The Torch much greater visibility and increase awareness of the program as our arts officers travel across the state, providing participants with vital arts skills, opportunities, and cultural reconnection,” Mr Morris said.
“Indigenous Australians are over-represented in Victorian and Australian prisons and The Torch is providing an opportunity for them to build resilience against the reoffending cycle by helping provide a reconnection with culture and a vital income stream upon release,” he said.
The Torch has been delivering the Indigenous Arts in Prisons and Community (IAPC) Program since June 2011 with artists receiving 100 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of their artworks.
The program has been hugely successful in reducing Indigenous reoffending rates from an average of 54.3 per cent to just 11 per cent for program particpants,1 and last year supported over 600 artists across the state.
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer, Vin Naidoo said Toyota was proud to support an organisation like The Torch that is having such a positive impact on the lives of Victoria’s Indigenous population.
“For these talented artists, raising awareness of their work is the best way to help support them to grow their audience. Toyota Australia is proud to support The Torch and its programs, and help raise further awareness of this vital not for profit organisation.” Mr Naidoo said.
Toyota Finance Australia has provided the four new RAV4s on a three-year lease and President and CEO of Toyota Finance Australia, Evan Tsirogiannis said he was honoured to be able to support The Torch further and continue to strengthen its relationship with The Torch.
“The Torch was in need of new vehicles that were reliable, safe and fuel efficient as their arts officers travel increasingly greater distances to help their artists both in and out of prisons across the state,” Mr Tsirogiannis said.
“To help promote the work The Torch does we have assisted by helping fund the wrapping and artwork licencing of the vehicles.”
“The stunning artworks that have been used to wrap the cars will further help raise awareness of the program and provide income for the artists, and we are proud that we could take action that will truly make a difference,” he said.
Toyota Australia also supports The Torch’s annual exhibition of all of its artists through its social investment fund that allocates 1 per cent of pre-tax profits to not for profit and charity organisations.
Artist Ash Thomas talks to Lorena Walker about his artwork and how Torch has given him a great opportunity to help his community through art.