Melbourne Art Trams return to the tracks for 2018

Melbourne Art Tram 2018 Hayley Millar-BakerThe first Melbourne Art Tram for 2018 has hit the tracks, turning the everyday commute into a contemporary art experience. The monochrome photo-media design by Gunditjmara artist Hayley Millar-Baker was launched by the Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley this morning and will greet commuters on the 11 and 86 route.

“Over the years, Melbourne’s trams have become canvases for some truly amazing works by our city’s artistic legends – such as David Larwill and Mirka Mora – as well as new and emerging artists,” said Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley. “By inviting artists to turn our iconic trams into giant mobile artworks, we’re giving people right across the community access to some of the best contemporary art Victoria has to offer.”

Millar-Baker’s tram is the first of eight that will be rolled out this October as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. The public art project, which is in its sixth year, is a revival and re-imagining of the seminal Transporting Art program which ran from 1978 to 1993 and resulted in 36 hand-painted trams being rolled out across the Melbourne network.

For the first time, one of the eight designs unveiled as part of Melbourne Art Trams, will be a recreation of an original Transporting Artwork, by the late expressionist painter David Larwill (1956-2011). Commissioned in 1986 as part of the United Nations International Year of Peace; for 2018, his W-Class tram has been photographed and adjusted to fit a modern tram design and will appear on Melbourne’s tram tracks from Friday 5 October.

The other tram artists for 2018 are: Oslo Davis, Nick Howson, Stephen Baker, Oli Ruskidd, Troy Innocent and Year 9 student Valerie Tang. Melbourne Art Trams is made possible through a creative partnership between Melbourne International Arts Festival, Creative Victoria and Public Transport Victoria in collaboration with Yarra Trams.

“A much-loved centrepiece of the Festival’s visual arts program, Melbourne Art Trams provides a canvas for some of the city’s most inspiring artists,” said Melbourne International Arts Festival Artistic Director, Jonathan Holloway. “We are delighted with the breadth of designs this year, which truly represent the creativity and diversity of Melbourne.”

The 2018 Melbourne Art Trams will appear throughout the month of October and remain on Melbourne’s streets until early 2019. Members of the public are invited to vote for their favourite art tram in the People’s Choice Award and be in the running for great prizes. Voting opens in late October. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Melbourne Tram 2009 by Hayley Millar-Baker (supplied)