Colour and Community unite with Michael Eavis for Rachel's art launch

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After 20 years in the making, local artist Rachel Pereira’s collection was officially opened by Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis on Wednesday 30th May.

Somerset-born, self-taught artist Rachel Pereira captured the crowd with a visually stunning collection of expressive art at the launch of her ‘Witch in the Wardrobe’ exhibition at Strode Theatre, Street.

As the doors opened, art admirers, friends, family and community were greeted with organic mead, soft refreshments and nibbles which reflect Rachel’s personality and tastes. Rachel’s favourite piece took centre stage and made initial impact on arrival. ‘The Witch’ as Rachel refers to it, exudes colour, expression and personality, and her surrounding collection compliments this piece perfectly.

The launch was supported by Positive People a programme funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund, to help people develop the confidence and skills to find work.

Rachel says “Positive People have played a crucial role in the organisation of my launch party and exhibit, particularly in relation to promotion, connections and decision-making support. I have had great mentors, and cannot thank Jon Cousins and Sylvia Hester enough, who have been my support network in making my exhibit such a success.”

Jon Cousins, Community Enabler for the Positive People project says, “I was blown away when I first met Rachel, at how talented she was. Art has always been her first love, and a dream she was unsure on how to move forward with. Through the Positive People programme we could further explore Rachel’s options and start to develop an action plan with her Change Coach, Sylvia Hester, which has led us to the beginnings of her dream becoming a reality!

“Michael is, without a doubt, one of the most positive people I have ever met and so was the obvious choice to officially open Rachel’s exhibit. His charitable work in the community and his links with the creative-arts make him the perfect reflection of what Rachel wanted to achieve. We knew she would be over-the-moon with his attendance!”

Somerset Positive People partnership manager, Emma Wescott says “We are delighted to see Rachel’s journey through to her recognising her dreams of a successful exhibit come true, and we are proud to have been part of her day. We are constantly looking at new ways to encourage people like Rachel, with an ambition or a goal that they want to achieve, to get in touch. In Somerset, we are very lucky to have a dedicated team on the ground, and we look forward to seeing more people, like Rachel, securing the future they want.”

“The Positive People programme is completely diverse and is open to anybody who is unemployed and over 18. It doesn’t have to be about getting back into work, we can help achieve ambitions, and support people to gain new skills and help overcome barriers to their success.”

Positive People have so far supported 500 people across Somerset to recognise their potential.

The exhibition will be open to public from Thursday 31st May - Wednesday 15th August. For more information about the exhibition, visit: www.strodetheatre.org.uk For more information about Rachel Pereira’s art, visit: www.aeonloveboutique.com

For more information about Positive People, visit: www.positive-people.org.uk