Who we are

MAFA (Melbourne Artists for Asylum Seekers) is a group of volunteers dedicated to hosting quality art workshops to Asylum Seekers both inside and outside of detention.

We met during informal visits to detention centres in 2012 which then evolved into doing art visits. We are currently expanding to conduct art classes inside detention and in the community.

We are musicians, dancers, painters, drawers, animators, art therapists, activists, child entertainers, sculptors, crafters and art enthusiasts who welcome anyone and everyone who would be interested in getting involved in our projects.

Our group objectives

>> To use art to raise awareness of the lives and talents of asylum seekers across the wider Australian community.

>> To allow artists and art students from refugee and non-refugee backgrounds to meet, collaborate and learn from each other.

>> To create a community united by shared experiences, love of free artistic expression, and a desire to create a kinder world.

Monthly Art Workshops, Gallery Visits, Exhibitions and Public Events

Art Workshops:

If you’re a refugee living in the community, join us for the regular art workshop! Workshops have different topics with a skill-share done by an artist expert in the field. You don’t have to have any prior background in art; we’re open to anyone with the desire to create.

You can read more on our Workshops here.

Gallery and Exhibition Visits:

Melbourne’s art scene is full of new ideas, laneway galleries and hidden talent. We visit as a group to learn and share the experience with other artists.

Gallery and exhibition visits will alternate with the art workshops.

MAFA Exhibitions:

We regularly curate collections of new artwork from our members for exhibitions built around a central theme or idea. In the past, our members have been involved with: Our Beautiful Names, New Beginnings, Conference of the Birds, Elephant in the Dark, and Colours.

If you manage a gallery or exhibition space with empty walls, we’d love to hear from you.

See our Exhibitions page for more information.

Public Events:

We often hold launch events for our exhibitions, which are open for anyone to attend and are a great chance to meet the artists in person.

In the future we also hope to merge visual arts displays with live poetry readings, allowing colour, rhythm and setting to create something new.

See our Facebook page or Calendar for more event details.

Want to get involved?

We’re always thrilled to hear from people, whether it’s about joining our classes, visiting exhibitions, offering to volunteer, making a donation, or if you’re an artist who’d like us to feature some of your work.

Feel free to get in touch!