Preparing to paint, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, Renew Armidale Chairperson Aileen MacDonald OAM and Armidale Regional Council Interim General Manager David Kerr discuss the Armidale Laneways Project.
Thursday, 27 August 2020
LANEWAYS around Armidale’s Beardy Street Mall will become the canvass for a number of locally inspired murals, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing a $59,522 State Government grant to activate the currently uninspiring pedestrian access points.
Mr Marshall said the project aimed to make the walkways, which channel people into the Mall, feel more inviting.
“For years now people have been trying ways of reinvigorating and attracting new people and businesses into the underutilised Beardy Street Mall,” Mr Marshall said.
“Community organisation Renew Armidale has come up with a three stage plan to add colour and life into the Mall by installing murals and planter boxes and hosting a number of art events.
“First, an artist will be commissioned to paint a locally inspired mural on a two-story street frontage on Moore Street, while a second, 50 metre-long ‘Four seasons of Armidale’ mural will be installed on space near Cinders Lane.
“In order to get local street artists involved in the project, an external laneway will feature more than a dozen murals, representing the local Aboriginal culture, newly settled Ezidi refugees, schools and community groups.
“A section of a carpark will be turned into a parkette, complete with turf, seating and benches, planters and fragrant vine growing on trellis, creating a space where people can relax or meet up with friends for a coffee.”
Renew Armidale Chairperson Aileen MacDonald OAM said whatever the plan to reactivate the Mall, it had to have the support of the community.
“In order to gain public input, Renew Armidale will undertake a two month community engagement program, including workshops and creative pop up collaborations that reconnect locals with the space,” Ms MacDonald said.
“A ‘Spring Shop Art Program’ will be conducted in the lead up to the Spring Festival, with Mall business owners encouraged to show local artists work in their shopfront windows for a period.
“The public will vote for their favourite instillation, with the winning artist receiving studio space, art supplies and inclusion in a local exhibition as well as a local media feature expose.
“Renew Armidale is excited to deliver this project, with the support of Armidale Regional Council, and looks forward to seeing hopefully an increase in foot traffic to this important part of Armidale city.”