The honorary Festival Artist appointment acknowledges the accomplishments of a particular arts practitioner each year and celebrates the valued contribution that local artists bring to the Armadale community.
2020 Festival Artist - to be announced
Public nominations have now closed. Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2020 Festival Artist in early 2020!
In the meantime, please direct any enquiries to City of Armadale Arts Officer Gemma Sidney via email (GSidney@armadale.wa.gov.au) or phone 9394 5000.
2019 Festival Artist - Gavin Grace (Gracey)
Gavin Grace (Gracey) is husband to Sharon, father of Justice, Reign and Pride, Founder of multi award-winning company Art vs Depression, Founder of the Resilient Friends Club, 2018 City of Armadale Citizen of the Year, advocate for the arts, champion of our local communities and a leader in art for social change strategy in Western Australia.
As the 2019 Festival Artist, Gracey produced a documentary, Connecting Us, which screened at the 2019 Armadale Arts Festival. The film explored how connecting to traditional cultural art forms can inspire, empower and engage diverse peoples and what role culture plays in our communities.
As part of Art vs Depression, Gracey has worked on many varied projects with local governments, schools, not-for-profit community organisations, individuals and groups.
2018 Festival Artist – Cathie Travers
A musician since the 1970s, Cathie Travers is now one of the most highly regarded accordionists in the nation. She has performed across a wide range of genres, from rock bands as a singer-guitarist and keyboard player, to a classical pianist, avant-garde keyboardist, and exponent of digital technologies in music.
Cathie’s talent has seen her featured as a composer, performer, and musical director for numerous theatre and dance works as well as ensemble and orchestral performances around Australia, Asia, USA, Canada, and the UK. Cathie is regularly inspired by a social or environmental situation and continues to write original and instrumental titles.
Cathie has a passion for sharing her gift through education, an innate sense of music, and a love of creativity.
2017 Festival Artist – Rachel John
Image: Matt Skellern of Photo ForMatt
Rachel John is the founder and musical director of the vibrant Classic Sounds Orchestra Association, that in 2017 was the recipient of the prestigious Australia Day award for Active Citizenship.
Rachel grew up in Armadale and for the past two decades has been an active performer, educator, workshop facilitator and arts administrator in the local music industry. She is a passionate advocate for strengthening community spirit through creative activities and believes the Arts have no age, gender or cultural boundaries.
She believes that “artistic and creative endeavours are what fill our souls with colour; they are a form of expression that is universally spoken.” Rachel recognises that music is simply a conduit for inspiring others, identifying learning-style strengths, and awaking neurological pathways. She loves being part of community music and the diverse social fabric that makes Armadale unique.
“It is a joy to be part of a community rich in cultural diversity and inspirational peers, and I am proud to be an ambassador for the growth of artistic values.”
2016 Festival Artist – Trudi Pollard
Image: Matt Devlin
Trudi’s selection as inaugural Festival Artist recognised her long-term commitment to artistic inspiration and well-being of the Armadale community. Considered a textile art pioneer and foremost expert on Western Australian natural dyes, Trudi has been working, studying, lecturing and teaching in the areas of textile arts and ceramics for more than 40 years.
She exhibits locally, nationally and internationally, has won many awards and her work is held in both public and private collections world-wide. Her work has a strong focus on colour, locally derived from the earth’s minerals and plants. Trudi uses designs and techniques that reflect the underpinning anthropological story behind nature's rich visual tapestry, which provides her with never-ending creative inspiration.