What is the aim of the draft Urban and Public Art Strategy?

The draft Strategy aims to create a new framework of contributing to the culture and identity of the community, building on current experiences and opportunities at cultural, community and recreational spaces around the our City.

What is urban art?

The Urban and Public Art Policy uses urban art as an umbrella term which relates to four key attributes:

1. Urban art is the creative treatment added to functional man-made infrastructure. It directly relates to city planning, city design, architecture, equipment design, amenities and facility design.

2. Urban art includes the artworks created by untrained artists and/or artists that fall within categories such as outsider art, street art and graffiti art.

3. Urban art is memorials, monuments or an object that has cultural civic value or recognition. Memorials and monuments are determined as Urban Art within this strategy.

A memorial is defined as an object established in memory of a person or an event. A monument is similar in meaning and can be described as a statue or structure, which is built for commemorative purposes.

4. Cultural, historical and artistic interpretation will also be classified as urban art, such as heritage trails.


What is public art?

The Arts Law Centre of Australia defines public art as:

"permanent or temporary artistic works situated in public spaces and accessible by members of the public, excluding artworks held in the collections of galleries and museums."

How is public art funded?

Funding is provided through multiple funding streams. Like all events, exhibitions and programs Urban and Public Art is funded to meet the objectives outlined within the Arts Heritage and Cultural Plan 2017-2027 and the Urban and Public Art Policy.

Examples of recent funding include $150,000 for Chimera and $285,000 in grant funding for the CREATIVE lake trail through the Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure program, a Commonwealth Government funded initiative.

Where will public and urban art be located?

Through previous consultation undertaken, it was determined that the community wanted to create public art hubs. The draft Strategy outlines that urban and public art precinct plans will be developed throughout the LGA which will have a strategic focus, create equity and help with approvals.

An audit of the collection is taking place over the next 12 months to determine what type of artworks are out there but also where. This will provide data around what and where is under or over represented. As part of this cultural mapping will occur every 5 years which have insights into trends, engagement and future planning.


How is Public Art selected?

Based on commission value and expressions of interest is publicly distributed and a panel reviews submissions to determine a successful application.

The Urban and Public Art Working Group work under the local government procurement guidelines. If you are an artist and would like to be notified of these opportunities please email publicart@lakemac.nsw.gov.au with 'subscribe' in the subject line.

Can public art be taken down?

Yes, it can. Urban and Public Art objects will not be sold, given away or disposed of in any way and will remain as part of the Lake Macquarie City Council's cultural collections unless they meet one of the following criteria:

  • the object is a lesser quality duplicate of an object Council already owns

  • the object lacks any supporting information detailing provenance to enable proper identification or to establish its relevance to the collection

  • the artwork does not meet one of the following document requirements: the Urban and Public Art Policy, Draft Urban and Public Art Strategy, the cultural collections procedure, policy or strategy

  • the work is at the end of its intended life span outlined in the maintenance report and/or contractual agreement

  • maintenance and repair obligations and costs have become excessive in relation to the value and age of the artwork

  • there is a significant threat of damage to the work if left in its current location

  • the work has become unsafe, or is affected by changes in health and safety regulations

  • The site where the work is located is to be redeveloped or physically altered

  • The work is no longer culturally appropriate

  • The work is damaged, deteriorated or destroyed beyond reasonable repair or conservation.