Beach Party, an Emu Park mural, was shortlisted in the ‘Best Amusing Street Art” category, while Kraken Unleashed, in Yeppoon, is a finalist in the Best External Mural category.
The Emu Park: Centenary of ANZAC Memorial has secured the third finalist accolade for the region, in the “Best Monument or Memorial” category.
Kraken Unleashed by Martin Schlick from Mash Designs is a giant tentacled beast painted on the roadside retaining wall in Barry Street. It plays off an equally large tentacled 3D cephalopod named the Keppel Kraken that forms the centrepiece of the children’s playground on the Yeppoon foreshore.
Beach Party, by Simon McLean, is painted across the walls of the public amenities block adjacent to the Emu Park Surf Life Saving Club, only a short walk along the beachfront from the Centenary of ANZAC Memorial, which was created in time for the 2015 centenary celebrations of the Gallipoli landing.
Australian Street Art Awards Director, Liz Rivers, said “The Awards showcase towns like Yeppoon and Emu Park that use art to transform their streets and landscapes, while educating travellers about the magnificent array of publicly-accessible art that can be found in every corner of the country.
“Australia has a long history of creating sculptures, monuments and other art that is captivating to visitors. However, there’s never been a way of rewarding and supporting towns and destinations that created these art-related experiences for visitors. The Australian Street Art Awards remedies that shortcoming,” she said.
With rigorous judging by tourism and event industry leaders from around Australia and second-tier auditing, these three finalist berths have the credence of the art tourism sector.
Nominations were judged on the intention of the artwork, planning, community use and benefit, promotion as a visitor attraction, and accessibility.
Judging focussed on the way the art has been used to attract visitors and bring the local community together. In the case of Beach Party, the judges loved that it emphasises the whimsy associated with vintage beach attire and behaviour at a popular holiday beachside location.
They commented that Kraken Unleashed cleverly plays off a creature well-known to World of Warships game players, and the inclusion of the word Yeppoon at one end and the creature escaping into the wall through a 3D portal at the other were clever elements that make the piece particularly appealing to visitors.
For the Centenary of ANZAC Memorial, the judges said that its beachside position on a small crest is a fitting location that reflects somewhat the terrain that our fallen heroes faced upon landing at Gallipoli, allowing visitors and residents to have a unique and remarkable experience.
“These artworks, along with all other finalists, have contributed significantly to making Australia a more vibrant, creative and interesting country – somewhere that international visitors, as well as domestic travellers, will want to explore,” the judges said.
More international tourists engage in arts than visit wineries, casinos, or attend organised sports events, according to the Australia Council for the Arts’ International Art Tourism: Connecting Cultures 2018 Report. The study also found that art tourists are more likely to travel to regional areas, with 42% venturing beyond capital cities.
The winners will be announced at an Awards ceremony on 6 November on the Sunshine Coast immediately following Australia’s first arts tourism summit, The Art of Attraction.