There's a perception sometimes that contemporary art is part of an ‘elite culture’ that contributes to social displacement and division. And sometimes it actually is, and does. But the best art can also strengthen communities, it can embody and embolden values that stand against the worst aspects of gentrification.

Simmo under the hood in the 'hood, with Richard Bell's Both Ways at Ralph's Garage. Image by Frankly Photography.

Today TRACE, the second biennial contemporary art exhibition and auction, is launched in the streets of West End. The increadible artists, venues, organisers and supporters participating in TRACE are all building the community in very real ways. Funds raised go to Community Plus+ and the vital work they do with vulnerable and marginalised communinty members. And the art itself, from some of Australia's most important artists, is encountered in unprecedented contexts, potentially provoking new ways of seeing both the art and the neighbourhood. Visit a work by Richard Bell in a mechanic's garage, Judy Watson in a shoe repair shop, Arthur Koo’ekka Pambegan Jr in a Vietnamese grocer, and Gordon Bennett in a book store. For a full list, and walking trail map, go here.

We had a fatastic night at Avid Reader with art historian Ian McLean discussing one of Australia's most visionary and critical artists, Gordon Bennett (1955–2014) and his TRACE work Untitled (Blue/Black Lines & Spirals), as well as the beautiful new book of Gordon's drawings and writing, jointly published by IMA and Sternberg Press.

It's a massive thanks to the whole amazing TRACE team: project manager and driving force Marilyn Trad; curator Dr Susan Ostling; gallery advisor and general enabler Josh Milani; publicity Amelia Gundelach; social media Caroline Gardam Communications; media Bec Mac; community advisor Nick Goding; artist in residence Jeanette Stok (more on this very soon); grant asistance Helen Wallace; school tour organiser and admin asistance Aphrodite Nichles; filmmakers Ali Cameron and Jake James; and here at Inkahoots, Bhu Vidya for web development.

We hope to see you with the art, in the 'hood.