Council’s new art strategy goes on public exhibition for comment

A mural on the Coledale Community Centre

WHETHER it’s a brand-new work or the care of a sculpture that dates back generations, a new Wollongong City Council strategy is aiming to make art available to everyone in the community.

From next month, Council will be calling for feedback on a draft Public Art Strategy 2022-2032.

The purpose of the strategy is to guide Council’s creative and strategic planning, as well as how it delivers artwork in community spaces.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the strategy continues a focus on supporting diverse public art in the city and will build on an earlier public art strategy.

“Public art has a very important role to play within a city and we’ve a great diversity of art within community spaces across Wollongong and our suburbs,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“We’ve more than 170 permanent pieces of public art on display across our Local Government Area and these come in a variety of forms, and acknowledge or celebrate different themes and points in time.

“As well as high-profile sculptures, this Strategy considers murals, video and sound content, and creative hubs as key components within our city’s diverse collection of public art. It makes it clear we’re keen to embrace new and emerging technologies and contemporary art practices in our community spaces.

“It’s exciting to step back and to think about how all the individual pieces that make up our city’s public art represent our identities, our expression of self at this point in time and whether there are opportunities to address any gaps in this representation into the future.’’

The draft Public Art Strategy 2022-2032 has been informed by feedback collected through the development of Creative Wollongong 2019-2021, the Community Strategic Plan 2022-2032 and advice from Council’s Public Art Advisory Panel.

“The Strategy was developed using the principles of belonging, opportunity, place, value and elevate as an overarching guide,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“Plus, during other consultations in recent years, our community has told us they would like to see more artworks – permanent and temporary – in our suburbs as well as in the city and areas of our coastline and our lake foreshore areas.

“This is really valuable feedback, and this has informed actions within the Strategy. I look forward to hearing from our community throughout August about this draft Strategy as their feedback will inform the final version of the document.’’

The community feedback for the draft Public Art Strategy will open in August and comments can be made through Council’s website. The final draft document will return to Council later this year for adoption.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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