To counter public graffiti, earlier this year the ACT Government called for expressions of interest to paint a mural on the wall above the Cooyong street skatepark.
This was just one of a number of projects In The City Canberra (ITCC) has undertaken to improve the CBD and promote Canberra artists. With the business closing and handing over to the City Renewal Authority on the 31st December, this was another great project for ITCC to make a real difference in Canberra’s city centre.
Three artists were then asked to submit a final design, and a public vote was held on the In The City Canberra Facebook page. The initiative saw the ACT Government partnering with In the City Canberra and The Canberra Centre. $500 was paid to each of the three shortlisted artists to assist in their work on a final design, the winning artist received $18,000 to conduct the work.
For legal art events in Canberra, ITCC obtains approval from property owners and their tenants, then prepares the walls, promotes the activities, manages public voting and coats the finished walls for protection. It will be interesting to see if the Renewal Authority does the same in the absence of ITCC.
Artists George Rose and Phibs won the competition and their art is now complete and viewable in the area. The ACT government is committed to providing street artists with the opportunity to practice their art in public spaces and reduce the amount of illegal graffiti in Canberra. Currently, there are 26 locations in the ACT where artists can practice legally and now there is another next to the Rose and Phibs masterpiece.
Jane Easthope ITCC CEO said, “At least twice a week, In The City Canberra removes graffiti from privately owned building walls in the CBD, totalling about 400 tags a year. Urban art deters graffiti because the vandals tend to respect urban artists.”
Artists wishing to become involved in similar projects could call the ACT Government graffiti coordinator in City Services or the Activations Unit in the City Renewal Authority on 132281.