The possibilities Ballarat’s Creative City Strategy can create in inspiring collaboration and expanding the reach of our arts and culture offering were propelled into the spotlight during the 2019 Federation University Road National Championships.
Now, one week after another successful RoadNats, the public ‘art bikes’ that had the community talking are being moved into the Backspace Gallery as part of the gallery’s newest exhibition.
The Ballarat Art Bikes Project – an initiative of the City of Ballarat – saw six artists and the local community come together to create 12 ‘art bikes’ sourced from recycling and upcycling materials, aimed at adding colour and fun to the city’s streets during the 2019 Federation University Road National Championships from 4-8 January.
Each artist created one art bike themselves, and the second by working alongside a local community group or school.
Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh said it was fantastic to see the Creative City Strategy, although still in draft form, starting to have an impact.
“The very artistically designed bikes really brought our city’s streets to life during this year’s RoadNats, they gave the event an element of artistic difference that had not been offered before,” she said.
“What it does is showcase to us the potential there is to leverage our dynamic arts and culture industry into new areas, areas we have not generally associated with art before – such as sport and cycling.
“It’s opened a new door for us, as a community, when it comes to inspiring one another to be innovative when planning future events.”
Mayor McIntosh said most importantly, it went as far as cementing how successful a whole-community approach to delivery can be.
“Gone are the days when one organisation takes the lead, today’s most successful campaigns – as we have seen with the Ballarat Art Bikes Project – tell us we should be looking at an open invitation for community members, artists, Council, local businesses and organisations to take the lead,” she said.
“I recommend you heading over to the Backspace Gallery for the chance to look at all 12 bikes in the one place and to see how the Creative City Strategy can change the way we look at events into the future.”
The bikes, which were sourced through the YMCA’s ReCranked program, will be displayed at the Backspace Gallery until the Ballarat Cycle Classic – a homegrown cycling event occurring on Sunday 17 February.
The exhibition will open on Thursday from 9am.
The Ballarat community is also reminded the Draft Creative City Strategy and accompanying Master Plan are now available to download and review from mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au
Community consultation closes 1 February 2019.