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Balls-and-all approach to art from Wodonga

WODONGA’S gateways, including the Hume Freeway, will be adorned with ‘bold’ artworksunder a new plan backed by the city’s council.
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Flashback: Wodonga mayor Rodney Wangman unveils Porta on the Lincoln Causeway in 2007. Similar artworks are proposed for other gateways.

Graffiti-like work, described as ‘aerosol art’, is also endorsed in the public art masterplan for 2015-2020.

The freeway, Ludlows Reserve, Beechworth Road and the intersection of the Kiewa Valley Highway and Wodonga-Yackandandah Road are earmarked for “distinctive and engaging works” which would be “bold” and acknowledge entryand exit.

Visitors entering Wodonga on the Lincoln Causeway have been greeted with Porta, AKA the three balls, since 2007 and the proposed gateway artworks are seen as complementary.

Wodonga mayor Rodney Wangman believes such pieceswould enhance the image of the city.

“Certainly we want people who are coming into Wodonga to feel as though this is a large regional city thatis respectful of its history, but also a place where culture and art is part of everyday life,” Cr Wangman said.

The plan also calls for an “aerosol art program” on a wallat either the James Skate Memorial Skate Park or Felltimber Park.

It notes such a program “can reduce tagging”.

Cr Wangman declined to say whether he agreed with that notion, but said there were “many different types of art” across ages.

“Where we do in fact support or decide to have graffiti as an art piece, then whatwe would do as a council is agree to the location and the nature and the extent of what would be available to support the overall art and cultural plan,” hesaid.

The 37-page plan proposes dates for installingartworks, but does not mention the likely budget for any projects.

Cr Wangman said the council has ongoing funding for art and also presseddevelopers to incorporate works in their projects.

“In terms of the actualcosts and contributions we’re fortunate now that many of our residential estates actually have in their development plans contributions by the developers towards public art,” Cr Wangman said.

“(Council) does commit in forward budgets small amounts and then at times large amounts towards public art.”

Other itemsin the new plan include an after dark public art program in the central business district, the commissioning of portable furniture for the urban square areaand the combining of apps with culture.

An app to flag points along the Gateway Island-Belvoir Park bicycle route is proposed to encourage riders to interact with their surrounds.

It is also suggested an artwork be designed for the Huon Hill lookout to attract more visitors to the vista.

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