Borrowed Landscape (2019) by Jamie North, Worth Place, Newcastle

Help shape the future of public art in Newcastle

Are you a community-minded art, design or architecture expert with a keen interest in public art? Well, City of Newcastle (CoN) wants to hear from you.

That’s because council recently voted to expand CoN’s Public Art Reference Group (PARG) by appointing five external members, including an expert with Awabakal or ZWorimi Indigenous cultural knowledge and a heritage specialist.

PARG Chair, councillor Carol Duncan said bolstering PARG’s ranks with external arts professionals will see public art continue to play a large role in the city’s transformation.

“Art contributes to our wellbeing in public spaces, reflects our values as a community, and gives our spaces meaning and the opportunity to be unique,” Cr Duncan said.

“It provides opportunities for artists to create, for visitors and residents to enjoy, and to build an even greater economic contribution to the city by way of the value of our arts and cultural organisations.”

Since 2018, the PARG has considered a number of public art proposals for the private domain related to development applications in the Newcastle CBD including the Seed Pod and Lyrique Lane Light Chandelier on Hunter Street, and Indigenous murals and native artworks on Hannel Street in Wickham.  

“Helping applicants meet the 1% public art contribution and ensuring those funds are spent on incorporating artwork reflective of Newcastle’s culture and heritage is an important role of the PARG,” PARG member Councillor John MacKenzie said. 

“Ensuring we plan a healthy funding stream for the commissioning and maintenance of public art in the city is also a core focus in order to maintain these public investments.” 

Fellow PARG member Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz added there is no shortage of artistic expertise in Newcastle to contribute to the advisory committee.  

“Newcastle is home to more artists per capita than any other city in Australia, and boasts a thriving creative arts hub,” she said. 

“I look forward to welcoming community-minded arts professionals and an Indigenous and heritage representative to the reference group and continuing to shape the future of public art for the enjoyment of the Newcastle community and visitors alike.” 

Applications close at 5pm on Sunday 17 October. Head here to submit your expression of interest.