The region's unique identity will be showcased through public art into the future after the formal adoption of the Public Art Masterplan.
Given the tick of approval at last month's Bundaberg Regional Council Ordinary Meeting, the masterplan encompasses any artwork on Council-owned land or venues that is being entered into the public art collection.
The following guiding principles reflect the vision of the Public Art Masterplan, and will underpin future public artworks:
- Actively seek partnerships to grow a collection that reflects our region
- Manage the Public Art Collection responsibly within available resources
- Encourages diverse voices to be represented in public art through authentic and ethical engagement
- Promote public art as a tourism product of the region
- Recognise and celebrate Aboriginal, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander culture and stories
- Support the development of local artists and the growth of our creative industries to deliver art that shapes our region.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said the Public Art Masterplan reflected Council’s continued commitment to guide the development of the region’s thriving arts and cultural sector through a strategic framework and Public Art Program.
He said the plan was the very first of its kind for Council and with it came significant opportunities.
“In the past there has been an ad hoc approach across the region to the development of public art,” he said.
“We now have a strategy that will provide a clear direction to address the needs of our vibrant, artistic and culturally diverse community.”
Mayor Dempsey said public art played an important role in activating public spaces and attracting more people to the region.
“Pieces that acknowledge and celebrate cultural identity can become avenues for storytelling and community engagement,” he said.
“Public art can offer opportunities for reflection and, in doing so, foster community connectivity.
“This masterplan is forward facing, it’s a plan for our future.”
Development of the masterplan
The Public Art Masterplan has been developed over a two-year period, from 2021-2023, in which consultation with a range of community members and groups has been undertaken to determine priorities and preferences for public art.
On 8 March 2021 Council partnered with The Ideas Distillery for the provision of a guiding document for the development and implementation of Council policies and programs related to Public Art.
During 2021-2023, internal and external consultation was conducted with stakeholder groups, with a discussion paper and draft masterplan released for community feedback with accompanying surveys.
“Through extensive consultation we know that our community values public art, a sentiment which is acknowledged and shared by Council,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“We recognise the importance of arts within our community to foster a sense of self and sense of pride.”
As part of the masterplan, applications to Council for public art will now be considered through an online application portal.
Council assessment committee will assess public art submissions and make recommendations to Bundaberg Regional Council with projects requiring a Council resolution before they can proceed.
Find out more by viewing the Public Art Masterplan here.
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