Lismore has been doing it for years – transforming its formerly dangerous dark alleys into art-lovers’ laneways.
Now Casino is getting in on the act, with the council hoping that splashing some paint on the many blank walls around town will help to alleviate boredom, create visitor interest and reduce its stubbornly high crime rate.
Doubtful Creek-based artist Ty Heaven has begun a mural at the Casino Memorial Pool that Richmond Valley mayor Ernie Bennett hopes will become ‘a visually pleasing introduction to Casino’.
Mayor Bennett said the council has made a commitment to provide $25,000 annually to public art and, over time, residents and visitors alike would begin to see blank spaces changing to creative places.
And the splash of colour won’t just stop at the city limits.
‘It’s a long-term strategy which will see projects occurring throughout all towns and villages in our local government area,’ Cr Bennett said.
‘Council’s commitment to public art is to aid in fostering interest in our vibrant cultural lifestyles, respecting our heritage and welcoming tourism.’
Cr Bennett said first cab off the rank under the strategy was the turning of Casino’s water tower into an eye-catching icon, which had now become a welcoming beacon of light for those entering the town.
He said an artist would be commissioned for the ‘Big Surfboard’ or ‘Big Malibu’ to be installed in Evans Head, which would not only let visitors know they were swimming at Main Beach, but to also show our appreciation for the historical surf riding culture which resides there.
Evans Head will also see plans developed for a sculpture trail along Goanna Headland, which will identify with the landscape, as well as with the history and culture of the area.
‘Looking forward, we see Casino’s Simpsons Parade as a big blank canvas ready for enthusiastic brushes, or spray cans, introducing an inviting walkway which leads to our CBD or to McAuliffe Park,’ Cr Bennett said.
Council will also work closely with the community to identify projects for Coraki, Woodburn and Broadwater to highlight their individual villages.
The Casino Pool mural is expected to be finished by Australia Day.