Public art takes centre stage

PUBLIC artwork is more than something to look at, it also helps creates a "sense of place" says Queanbeyan City Council cultural development officer Georgina Perri.

"Public art gives the town soul. You go to any capital city or any small town in Australia or around the world and people are attracted to public art. It just gives the city soul and personality," Mrs Perri said.

"I live here as well and I like to be proud of what I'm walking past when I'm getting my milk and bread. It gives a sense of place and vibrancy to the city that we've been really lacking and people are really impressed."

The latest street art addition, located just outside Queanbeyan City Library, is a power box that has been cleverly disguised as a stack of books.

Artist Adam Long is responsible for the piece which features book title My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin and Queanbeyan history books by Rex Cross and Errol Lea-Scarlett.

Other public artworks include contributions by local artist Neil Dickinson who created sculpture, Morty the Snail. He also created the steel birds found in Crawford Street as well as the bin exteriors.

Mr Dickinson recently installed a number of Corten steel native bird and animal artworks on one side of the walkway between the Salvation Army and Homebase also known as 'Sam's Laneway'.

Currently the artist in residence at Queanbeyan High School, Mr Dickinson will teach students how to make pieces to be installed on the other side of the walkway.

"We definitely like to get the community involved where we can because it brings a connectedness to the piece and a sense of ownership and pride," Mrs Perri said.

"That's important when you're putting objects into a community space that the community has the connection with it."

Queanbeyan City Council also commissioned the Crawford Street mosaic project that involved nine different community groups. A further six public artworks by local artists can be found inside and outside of the Queanbeyan City Library.

The projects are externally funded or grants are sought to finance them.

"If a site's being redeveloped or ungraded we try to have discussions with our colleagues in other areas of council and see if we can piggyback on some of the infrastructure," Mrs Perri said.

"Instead of trying to create something out of nothing we try to utilise the infrastructure that's already there."

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