Frankston City builds on vibrant arts collection

John-Meade-with-Emily-Karanikolopoulos-Love-Flower-2019-photo-by-Andrew-Curtis-Southern-Way-McClelland-CommissionFrankston City Council is building on its vibrant arts and culture, delivering new sculptures as part of its public arts offering.

Frankston City Mayor, Kris Bolam, said the area was well known as a thriving arts hub with a strong commitment to connecting to the community through art.

“Council has worked hard to build our City’s impressive collection of public art, which features interactive murals, dynamic sculptures, public performances and the popular yearly street art festival, Big Picture Fest, with an investment of $140K – $180K annually,” said Mayor Bolam.

“In 2020, COVID-19 forced us to divert funds from several priority programs, including our public art programs, so we could provide the additional support our community required.”

“To date, Council has provided more than $5.08m in COVID-19 relief to community groups, businesses, individuals and sporting clubs. In June 2021, Council endorsed its new Budget, which provides an investment of $3.86m in COVID-19 recovery support and reinstates public art funding to the tune of $500,000.”

“Over the next 12 months, residents and visitors will see at least five new sculptures installed across our city and its suburbs, including a new gateway sculpture. Known as The Lighthouse, this iconic sculpture is scheduled for installation by March 2022 at the former intersection of Eel Race Road and Nepean Highway,” said Mayor Bolam.

The sculpture program is delivered through Council commissions and in partnership with Sculpture By The Sea and McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery. Iconic sculptures such as Reflective Lullaby, known locally as Frankie the Gnome, are recognised across Australia.

“Our investment in the arts encourages community connection, wellbeing and pride of place, and our murals, sculptures and arts events have become a celebrated part of Frankston’s identity,” said Mayor Bolam.

There are now over 30 street art pieces across Frankston City thanks to the Big Picture Fest, with three additional artworks now approved for completion this year, outside of the festival.

Council hosts free street art walking tours all year round (COVID-19 restrictions permitting) for anyone who would like to explore Frankston’s murals and hear the stories behind the artist and their work. Visit the Discover Frankston website to learn more.

Image: John Meade with Emily Karanikolopoulos, Love Flower, 2019 – photo by Andrew Curtis / Southern Way McClelland Commission