3 February 2015

Art Booming in Regional WA (2015)

Artsource is currently managing projects reaching Mandurah, Albany, Geraldton, Esperance, Dalwallinu and beyond. This month, we focus on the vibrant and increasingly connected, yet diverse visual arts activities in regional Western Australia.

Artsource is proud to support 182 members and 13 Associates living and working in WA’s nine regions. The Consulting team is working hard to meet increased demand for cultural policy, public art procurement, and curation services in the regions and is working to provide professional development, mentoring and career advice for our members as part of these projects, wherever possible.

In October last year, the Department of Culture and the Arts published their Regional Arts and Cultural Action Plan 2014-2018. Through a ‘ground-up’ approach, the Action Plan was developed through extensive community and key stakeholder consultation and focuses on practical outcomes for People, Communities, Economies, and Environments. This exciting initiative provides a broader framework for a number of cultural strategies currently being launched, or in the pipeline.

The City of Mandurah recently launched its Arts, Heritage and Culture Strategy for 2014-2020 . It is an ambitious and aspirational document and forms a foundation for the. Our Consulting team is pleased to be collaborating with the City of Mandurah to deliver two key projects that come out of the Strategy; the Yaburgurt Memorial Public Artwork and a feasibility study for an ‘A’ class gallery in Mandurah. The City of Mandurah is punching well above its weight in meaningful community and cultural engagements and will be a space to watch in the near future.

Following on from the Gascoyne Public Art Strategy developed in 2013 by Artsource in collaboration with Country Arts WA, Artsource is supporting an application to Royalties for Regions by the Shire of Exmouth for funding to create a public art strategy for the town. Currently, our Consulting team is developing a public art strategy for City of Greater Geraldton and surrounds, which will help drive arts and culture in the Geraldton town centre and Mullewa in particular.

Public art procurement remains one of our core consulting services and the team has been busy in the regions, as there are an increasing number of regional local governments implementing percent for art and other public art initiatives.

Our feature project is the second and final instalment of the Esperance Waterfront Public Art Project. This initiative by the Shire of Esperance saw Artsource engaged to develop a Public Art Masterplan and procure a set of public artworks by local artists.

A similar project initiated by the Shire of Carnarvon has just recently kicked off. Artsource is working with the Shire, and art consultant and regional Artsource Patron, Sabrina Dowling Giudici, to develop and implement an extensive community consultation plan. This will contribute to the development of a major public art piece for the Carnarvon main street.

Our Consulting team is also working with Great Southern artist, Tania Spencer, on a public artwork for a new Coles supermarket in Albany. The artwork is a series of abstracted boat sails; iconic representations of the city’s past and current history. Albany was Western Australia’s first port, established in 1826 and the port continues to be a hub of agricultural export and cruise tourism. This project is made possible through the City of Albany percent for art scheme. Artsource Consultant, Katy Eccles, will be in Albany later this year to deliver a professional development opportunity in association with this project. Watch our Professional Development page for more information, coming soon.

The demand and capacity for vibrant, quality and relevant arts programs and cultural initiatives in the regions is growing. Artsource will continue to partner with regional patrons, stakeholders and clients to increase our capacity to work with regional artists in a more focused and specialised way.