The Milbi Magic Community Mosaics located in Crawford Park at Archies Beach has been announced as a finalist in the Australian Street Art Awards.
This large ceramic public artwork at Bargara was designed to attract visitors and dazzle residents.
The Australian Street Art Awards, established in 2018, recognise destinations like the Bundaberg Region for using public art in its many forms to entertain visitors and engage with the community.
Awards director Liz Rivers said the awards provided a platform where trailblazing destinations – cities, regional towns and precincts – could be recognised for the contribution to both the world of street art and art tourism.
“Each of the communities acknowledged through these awards have made their mark as a must-see destination for art lovers,” she said.
“Being shortlisted in these awards further cements the reputation of the Bundaberg Region as an aspirational destination for everyone who loves visually stunning experiences,” Liz said.
Local artist Paul Perry brought together more than 230 people from across the community, around Australia and overseas, spending approximately 6,200 hours creating this incredible mosaic artwork.
Paul said the prestigious national awards were well regarded with many nominations and publicised around the country.
“I feel thrilled and honoured on behalf of all the artists and more than 200 volunteers who worked with me on this project over the two years it took to create it together,” Paul said.
The 2023 Awards incorporated 12 categories, including a new one: Best Community Art for any form of permanent artwork that was worked upon by members of the wider community not typically engaged in public art.
“All finalists will also have the chance of being named as the ‘Best Street Art Experience' in their state for the first time in these 2023 awards,” Liz said.
National gold, silver and bronze winners in all categories plus each state champion will be announced at a gala dinner celebration on Friday 8 March as part of the Art of Attraction Tourism Summit on the Sunshine Coast.
With the highest number of entries ever received, judges commented that the 2023 entries were also of a very high calibre, demonstrating the nominee’s determination to improve their community through the adoption of creative projects.
Paul said the nomination was about promoting this community artwork as another reason for tourists and travellers interested in art to visit Bundaberg and Bargara.
“I am hoping it also shows that well designed and executed community mosaics are valued as public art, as an aesthetic improvement to a local area and do indeed attract visitors from far and wide,” he said.