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Ambitious public art approach for Tauranga Moana

Recent public art installation in Tauranga CBD, Midnight Sun, by Sarah Hughes. Image credit - Sam Hartnett

“Creativity takes courage” artist Henri Matisse said - and Tauranga City Commissioners agree.

Tauranga City Council has adopted in principle a new framework for public art, which marks a step-change in the way the council commissions and engages with public art.

The proposed framework seeks to support local artists to create bold and innovative public art that celebrates the stories of our city.

Commission Chair Anne Tolley acknowledges the importance of making public art accessible for everyone to enjoy.

“Art brings vibrancy and energy to our streets and spaces and has the ability to help us see our city through fresh eyes.

“The Public Art Framework will encourage new public art throughout the city, so that everyone can experience thought provoking, vibrant and sometimes challenging artwork,” says Anne.

The creation of a new Public Art Fund will be enabled through an art-funding mechanism, where all council-led, above-ground capital projects will allocate at least 1% of their total budget towards public art outcomes.

A public art advisory panel will also be established, consisting of leading local artists and arts practitioners, who will provide expert advice to council on new public art projects.

Tauranga City Council’s Arts and Culture Manager, James Wilson, says art is a great way of exploring cultural identity, and the new framework will support local artists to create works of scale and ambition that will transform our public spaces.

“Public art engages communities, tells stories, and creates conversations, which can help to shape a sense of place,” says James.

“We have some incredible artists living and working in Tauranga, and I’m hugely excited by the opportunity that this new framework gives to support their work.

“By empowering local creatives, we will support economic growth and cultural tourism, building the city’s reputation as a destination to experience compelling arts and culture experiences,” James adds.

Additional information:
The decision made at Monday’s Strategy, Finance & Risk Committee Meeting saw Council adopt the framework in principle, noting that further work is to be undertaken by staff to define the final framework structure, criteria and budget, with a report due back to Council by the end of 2022.

The budgetary implications of the ‘percent for art’ fund would then be included in the 2023/24 annual plan process.

Posted: Aug 3, 2022,
Categories: General,

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