Noro’s Art of Music Gala 2024

Noro’s Art of Music Gala 2024
Image: Vincent Namatjira - Archie Roach. Source: Supplied

Every year artists and musicians come together for an event that raises money to provide music therapy for the autistic, disabled people and other disadvantaged groups.

Art of Music is a gala event where artists donate work inspired by a song of Australian or New Zealand origin, which is then auctioned during dinner to raise funds for Noro (formerly Nordoff Robbins), who provide music therapy to over 2,500 people across northern and western Sydney weekly.

For the 2024 Art of Music Gala, the evening will be conducted by auctioneer Scott Liversey.

“We are at the leading edge and sometimes the bleeding edge of music therapy, and it all makes a difference to those 2,500 people who are entrusted in our care each week,” Belinda Leonard, CEO, Noro said.

Art of Music is the creation of Australian and New Zealand music legend Jenny Morris, who has had a lifelong involvement in supporting causes, but this one brought the main influences in her life together.

“I started Art of Music in 2006 when I was on the board of Nordoff and I was trying to figure out to raise money,” Jenny Morris, Founder, Art of Music, said.

“My two great loves are visual art and music, and I thought about connecting the two creative types.”

Morris delved onto her friends list and quickly got Ben Quilty and the late Nicholas Harding to donate work, kicking off tradition in Sydney’s art and music world.

“Ben and Nicholas have donated every year since, though this is the first year without Nicholas; it’ll be hard,” Morris said.

Jenny Morris (image supplied) and Laura Jones (credit: Amelia Rushforth, supplied)

This year’s Art of Music artwork

This year artists who have donated art for the auction include Vincent Namajira, whose work is inspired by Archie Roach and Alex Seton who has nominated a track from Gang of Youths as his inspiration.

Todd Hunter has painted a portrait of his late friend and Died Pretty singer Ron Peno.

Laura Jones is a painter who works on the intersection between humanity and nature. She recently won the 2024 Archibald Prize, making her work even more sought-after by art collectors.

Her musical hero is Nick Cave.

“I thought that my paintings are quite dark and moody and they just fit this song,” Laura Jones, artist said.

“Nick Cave is an absolute music legend, and while my practice is around painting still lives and flowers I thought that his iconic song Where the Wild Roses Grow seemed like an obvious choice to me.”

Jones also has a long history of working with Studio A, which helps people with intellectual disabilities navigate professional pathways.

“I really see the power of art and music as a wonderful way to heal a lot of ailments and have an impact on people’s lives for all sorts of reasons,” Jones said.

“It feels wonderful to be able to use the skills that I have beyond making a painting that will go on people’s walls.

Noro works out of its headquarters in Penrith and has been granted space by the local area football club Penrith Panthers.

The organisation employs two tiers of practitioners to engage with their patients: registered music therapists with five years experience and community musicians.

“Our Guitars for Veterans program is a mental health program that helps veterans with PTSD that also offers employment to musicians who probably get similar benefits to some of the participants,” Leonard said.

Art of Music
A performance from the 2022 Art of Music Gala. Source: Pete Dogvan, Supplied.

Details on this year’s Gala

This year’s Art of Music will be held on June 22nd in the Grand Court at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

And good news for fans of Noro’s famous quiz night: it will be back next year.

Noro Art of Music Gala
Saturday 22nd June, 6:30pm

Grand Court, Art Gallery of NSW

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