Melbourne Art Trams return for 2018

Melb Art Trams 2017 St Albans - photo by James MorganMelbourne Festival, Creative Victoria, Public Transport Victoria and Yarra Trams have announced the sixth year of the Melbourne Art Trams project – which will see eight Melbourne trams transformed by Victorian artists into dynamic public artworks as part of the 2018 Melbourne Festival visual arts program.

Melbourne Art Trams is a revival and re-imagining of the much-loved Transporting Art program which ran from 1978 to 1993 and resulted in 36 painted trams being rolled out across the Melbourne network. This hugely successful public art project invites artists to propose a work that is specific to Melbourne’s trams as a site for collective engagement throughout the city, and to respond to Melbourne as a site of change.

“Melbourne is a city constantly evolving, with a cultural scene that changes in the most surprising and thrilling ways,” said Melbourne Festival Artistic Director, Jonathan Holloway. “In this time of transformation, there are some things that maintain their place at the centre of Melbourne: like the tram network and our annual international arts festival.”

David Larwill Art Tram 722In 2018, one of the eight trams will recreate an original Transporting Artwork by the late expressionist painter David Larwill (pictured left). Commissioned in 1986 as part of the United Nations International Year of Peace; for 2018, his W-Class tram will be photographed and adjusted to fit a modern tram design, then printed on adhesive vinyl and applied to the tram.

“Victoria is the creative state and what greater expression of this is there than when our iconic trams are reimagined as giant public artworks,” said Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley. “This year won’t just celebrate the most exciting Victorian artists of today, by reviving David Larwill’s tram artwork, the project will pay tribute to a groundbreaking artist whose talents live on after him.”

Melbourne Art Trams 2018 expressions of interest are now open for Victorian professional artists, with one tram design reserved for an emerging artist in the early years of their career as an artist, or who identifies as such regardless of age. One tram is reserved for an artist who specifically responds to their interpretation of ‘community’.

Expressions of interest for the Melbourne Art Trams are now open and close on Tuesday 12 June. Selected artists will be announced in July. For more information including Expression of Interest details, visit:

Image: 1. 2017 Melbourne Art Trams People Choice Award winner – St Albans Heights Primary School’s Community Hub – photo by James Morgan 2. David Larwill Art Tram 722 (supplied)