Melbourne Art Trams hit the tracks

Art Tram LaunchWith just over a week to the start of the 2014 Melbourne Festival, the first of the Art Trams have hit the tracks at a launch held on Wednesday 1 October.

The first tram in a series of eight, renowned street artist, Rone has brought a distinctly Melbourne flavour – bringing the vibrant, layered aesthetic of Melbourne’s laneway culture to the main thoroughfares of the city.

Rone is a well-known figure of Melbourne’s street art scene with his work becoming a familiar sight on the streets of the city. One of his most striking works is the nine-storey high mural L’Inconnue De La Rue (The unknown girl of the street) at 80 Collins Street in Melbourne’s CBD.

Melbourne’s Art Trams program is a partnership between the Victorian Government (through Arts Victoria), Yarra Trams and the Melbourne Festival that transforms Melbourne’s iconic trams into large-scale mobile public artworks. The program was launched last year and is a new take on the fondly remembered Transporting Art scheme which saw 36 artists paint trams between 1978 and 1993.

The first Art Tram will operate on Essendon Routes 55, 57, 59 and 82, with its location being able to be tracked using Yarra Trams mobile app tramTRACKER (for iPhone or Android), by typing tram number 209 into the myTram feature.

Seven more Art Trams will be launched over the coming weeks and will remain on Melbourne’s tram network for the next six months, featuring the work of: Jeff Makin, Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, Kristin Headlam, James Cattell, Christian Thompson, Janine Daddo, and Callum Croker.

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Image: Heidi Victoria, Minister for the Arts; Rone, Tram Artist; Clément Michel, Yarra Trams Chief Executive Officer; and Josephine Ridge, Creative Director Melbourne Festival – courtesy of Yarra Trams