• Strategy paints picture of public art in Lake Mac over next 10 years

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    Lake Macquarie City will become a hub of public artworks and installations under a new draft Council plan.

    The draft Urban and Public Art Strategy provides a framework on how Council can commission, improve and expand the City’s visual and aesthetic appeal through creativity.

    Manager Arts, Culture and Tourism Jacqui Hemsley said that investment in public art not only improves the liveability of a City, but also creates a sense of place, an identity and a destination.

    “Public art is the most accessible form of art within a community,” Ms Hemsley said.

    “We live in a modern society, and with art being a subjective concept, we understand that art doesn’t necessarily always appeal to everyone.

    “But it should aim to represent our diverse culture, reflect our feeling of people and place, and provoke thought and conversation.”

    Under the draft strategy, Council will deliver a series of significant, iconic, medium, small and ephemeral commissions dotted throughout the City as part of the strategy’s 10-year lifespan.

    “This is a robust and brave public art strategy that will put us at the forefront of the Hunter Region’s public and urban art,” Ms Hemsley said.

    “The actions outlined in this document will drive tourism, increase social interactivity in our community and stimulate investment in our City.”

    University of Newcastle research published earlier this year found that the visual arts sector contributes $26 million annually to the local economy in Lake Macquarie City.

    Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said Council would seek funding for new public art projects through various avenues, including capital works projects and government grants.

    “We are pleased to exhibit this draft strategy – the first of its type in the Hunter Region,” Cr Fraser said.

    “It paves the way for us to commission high-quality works of art that enhance our community and culture.”

    Lake Macquarie City is already home to more than 30 contemporary public artworks and more than 20 art and heritage interpretation signs.

    The strategy also covers Lake Macquarie’s memorials and monuments, defined as urban art under Council’s Urban and Public Art Policy.

    Almost 140 of them feature throughout Lake Mac, including the Catalina Memorial at Rathmines Park, and prominent war memorials at Toronto, West Wallsend and Speers Point.

    Go to shape.lakemac.com.au/art-strategy by 4 November to view the draft Strategy and provide feedback by completing the short survey.