Public art restores life to Melbourne’s Chapel Street Precinct

Art brings vibrancy to locked down city’s largest retail, hospitality, and entertainment precinct.

Words: Charlotte Middleton

A street art initiative is injecting much-needed life back into Melbourne’s Chapel Street Precinct as the city endures what is hoped will be the last of its Covid-19 lockdowns.

The well-known retail, hospitality, and entertainment precinct has been transformed with 100 commissioned posters, in a bid to take art off gallery walls and into the streets to be enjoyed by local passers-by.

The posters can currently be seen in complete layout down the side of MARS Gallery at 7 James St, Windsor, as well as strategically placed in various locations within the Precinct.

“Never before have we needed our artists more, and never before have we not been able to access looking at art, but this campaign promises that those on their 10km daily exercise program can go see art that is free and lifts the soul,” said Andy Dinan, Director of MARS Gallery, and who championed the Chapel Street Precinct project.

Among the ten artists who have offered their works up for transformation into the posters are Atong Atem, Scotty So, Cameron Robbins, Tricky Walsh, Sophia Whitney Hewson, Jenna Lee, Kenny Pittock, Tony Lloyd, and Diego Ramirez.

Sponsored by Chapel Street Precinct and Mr Moto, the works on display range in style, genre, and medium, with each work uniquely captivating.

“Art is a reflection of our creative and diverse community, and giving our residents and business owners free access to these incredible works couldn’t be more important, as we all pull together and approach what’s hopefully the closing to this harrowing lockdown period,” said Justin O’Donnell, Chairperson of the Chapel Street Precinct.

“Lockdown has robbed our artists of a chance to show their works and a chance for an income,” added Dinan. “I applaud Chapel Street Precinct for this program that sends art out to the community when we need it most.”

Melburnians who live within a 10km radius of Chapel Street Precinct can enjoy viewing the posters during sanctioned exercise outings.

*CSPA encourages Melburnians to follow government exercise guidelines during stage four lockdown, whilst also observing strict social distancing and hygiene protocols.

This article was originally published 28 September 2021.

Image: Fiona Hamilton Photography.

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