Banner with bark background and text: Coolamon Painting in celebration of National Reconciliation Week

Mai-Wel and local Aboriginal Artist Lesley Salem collaborate to bring the community ‘Coolamon Bowls’

In celebration of National Reconciliation Week, Mai-Wel will be hosting an inclusive Coolamon Painting art experience at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery on Thursday 1 June.

This project was funded by Maitland City Council’s Commemorative and Recognised Days Grants program. With the workshop open to the whole community, artists of all abilities were invited to enjoy a cultural education experience that builds awareness and reconciliation in a fun, interactive way. With only 30 spots available, the community were quick to get in and the activity is now fully booked!

During the activity, artists will be led by well-known Aboriginal Artist Lesley Salem to discover the significance of the coolamon bowl, an Aboriginal carrying vessel. This will be a day of story, art, music and connection, teaching the symbolic journey of the coolamon bowl from tree to table, which they will get to paint and take home at the end of the day.

“We are looking forward to working with Lesley, learning and engaging with culture and our community on such an important week. We cannot wait to see all of our artists on the 1st of June at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery,” said Katrina Sharman, Senior Manager of Creative Connections at Mai-Wel.

Mai-Wel is excited to present this workshop alongside Lesley Salem, a descendant of the Wonnarua Nation whose work has been exhibited at galleries across the Hunter Valley. With her background working as a nurse practitioner, Lesley has a strong dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those with socioeconomic disadvantage.