Eye-catching murals and welcoming clean streets now greet visitors to Bell Street in Ipswich Central with the creation of a living gallery showcasing hand-painted art by a well-known First Nations artist and local students.
Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Chairperson Councillor Marnie Doyle said the streetscape has been improved with art, adorned public furniture, a green wall and planter boxes featuring trees and native plants.
“Apart from being an important public transport hub for over 400,000 people a year, Bell Street is now a 300-metre gallery that proudly showcases our city’s community pride,” Cr Doyle said.
“One of our city’s busiest thoroughfares has been reimagined by the local community working together through the Ipswich Central Partnership, a collaborative council-supported initiative that is part of the Ipswich Central Revitalisation,” Cr Doyle said.
“Hundreds of people have lent a hand to transform the street, from the working bee that scrubbed walls and buildings clean of graffiti and dirt, to an artist and local students who have painted the street in a rainbow of colours and cultural motifs.”
Councillors Marnie Doyle and Andrew Fechner with local Indigenous artist Tallman.
Councillor Doyle said First Nations artist Robin Wakkajinda – also known as Tallman – was visiting Bell Street weekly with his work adding unique and unifying designs to the street while helping to reduce graffiti tagging and anti-social behaviour.
“A lovely additional benefit of Tallman working ‘live’ on the street is that he is attracting people to see him create his art each week, including groups visiting from outside Ipswich,” Cr Doyle said.
“Inspired by our region and city centre, students from four local schools have also painted artworks on vacant storefronts with Ipswich State High School and St Edmund’s College students the next to add their designs to the street,” Cr Doyle said.
The Ipswich Central Partnership, a volunteer group of passionate local businesses and community members, has been key in the revitalisation with its working bee and painting on Bell Street.
Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said Bell Street is an important link to Ipswich Central, the cultural hub and beating heart of Ipswich Central.
“While council maintains Bell Street with regular cleaning and graffiti removal from footpaths and other council-owned property, the buildings on the east of the street are state government assets or privately owned businesses,” Cr Fechner said.
“That is why it is vital that we continue to work collaboratively with the community, businesses and property owners, and the state government to improve and maintain the streetscape in Bell Street and other city streets.
“Working in partnership with business and property owners, Council also continues to help improve the broader Ipswich Central streetscape through the Facade Improvement Program which has contributed to 24 building improvements worth over $750,000.
Murals painted by local school students on Bell Street.
The Better Block Foundation provide hands-on demonstrations and training in placemaking, and their thought leadership will build on Ipswich Central Revitalisation projects that have already been drawing people into the city centre.
For more information about the Building Better Blocks and Neighbourhoods event visit https://events.humanitix.com/ipswich-better-block
After the Building Better Blocks and Neighbourhoods event concludes, the Ipswich Central Partnership will be taking over the space to showcase the day’s work as part of Unlock the Block.
For more information and to keep up to date with what’s happening in Ipswich Central visit Ipswichcentral.com.au