Melbourne Art Trams program to feature entirely First Peoples Artists

Reko-Rennie-Always-was-Always-will-be-2016-photo-by-James-HH-MorganRISING, Public Transport Victoria (PTV), Yarra Trams and Creative Victoria have announced Melbourne’s storied Art Trams initiative will, for the first time in 2021, feature entirely First Peoples artists.

Melbourne is a city built on the lands of the Kulin Nation peoples; Traditional Owners who continue to maintain deep connections to their country, kin and waterways that have existed for tens of thousands of years.

While the city is changing, country and First Peoples culture is all around us. From the earth to the sky and the stories in the stars, to the built environment, tramways and laneways.

RISING’s creative team is asking for Victorian Traditional Owners and First Peoples artists living in Melbourne and regional Victoria to share their stories through art, about our ever-evolving place and its multiple layers of history, country, diverse community and connections.

The 2021 Melbourne Art Trams Program will provide artists with the opportunity to have their artwork displayed on Melbourne’s tram network for 12 months.

“It is exciting that for the first time in Melbourne Art Trams history, the project will be focusing on the talent of First Peoples artists from across Victoria,” said Art Trams curator and RISING Artistic Associate, Kimberley Moulton (Yorta Yorta).

“This shift to celebrate and support First Peoples artists with the iconic program is a recognition of our stories and deep connections to the city and that reach out to the regions.”

“The representation of First People’s culture and voice in public art and celebration of the cultural strength of community is something I am passionate about, so I am particularly proud to be involved in the curation of this project and look forward to working with the community in realising their works in this way for all of Victoria and our visitors to enjoy.”

In 2021 there will be six trams that will be unveiled during the inaugural RISING. The program’s intention is that four trams will be allocated to artists who identify as Traditional Owners of Victoria and two trams to First Peoples artists who live and work in Victoria.

Submissions should celebrate heritage while contributing to a positive commuter experience. RISING encourages First Peoples artists from the city and regional Victoria to apply.

Submissions are now open and close 6.00pm (AEDT) – Monday 1 February 2021. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Reko Rennie, Always was, Always will be, 2016 – photo by James HH Morgan