Street and public art pieces found throughout Queensland have been named national finalists in the 2021 Australian Street Art Awards – seven times!

The Australian Street Art Awards, established in 2018, recognise destinations that are using outdoor art to attract visitors, boost their economy and engage their community.

Awards Director Liz Rivers said, “The Awards inform travellers about the magnificent array of publicly-accessible art that can be found in every corner of the country and the communities that have invested in these attractions because they’re keen to welcome visitors”.

She said smart communities promote their street and outdoor art as a unique landmark – an attraction that visitors can see in only place – and that makes their destination immediately identifiable, highly attractive and a drawcard for art-loving tourists.

“Investing in outdoor art as a visitor attraction is also clever economics, as the art is typically less expensive to create than more traditional tourism attractions and the pay-off is handsome,” Ms Rivers said.

The 2021 Queensland finalists are:

‘Pelicans on Patrol’, Yeppoon

Finalist: Best Landmark Sculpture

Dubbed Hughie, Dewey and Louie after some other well-known waterfowl, these three ever-vigilant pelican lifeguards were installed in the Yeppoon Lagoon on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast in 2021. The colourful fowl serve as sentinels atop three columns in the lagoon and double as 25-metre turnaround markers, providing a quirky endorsement of their majestic real-life roles. The pelicans have been specially designed to endure salt, chlorine, water and frenzied pool patrons. The playful guardians were designed by artist Steve McLean and jointly manufactured by ScreenArt and Mollusc Trading Company for the Livingstone Shire Council. Read the media release here –

‘Australian Age of Dinosaurs’, Winton

Finalist: Best Sculpture Park or Trail

Located atop a towering mesa known as The Jump-Up, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History is a prominent science-based not-for-profit museum that showcases prehistory through an outdoor gallery of custom-created prehistoric creatures. The Museum’s focus is preserving Australia’s extraordinary natural history and recreating life through unmatched exhibits.

‘Coral Greenhouse’, Great Barrier Reef off Townsville

Finalist: Best Sculpture Park or Trail

Within an underwater wonder world of sculptures on the Great Barrier Reef members of the public will discover the Coral Greenhouse – the Museum of Underwater Art’s (MOUA) largest installation. MOUA is a series of globally-significant artworks located off Townsville North Queensland. As Jason deCaires Taylor’s only underwater art museum in the Southern Hemisphere, the Museum was created to inspire and educate about reef conservation. At the heart of the Coral Greenhouse is a colossal skeletal structure that provides refuge for marine species and has been built to allow for coral planting to support reef restoration.

‘Dinosaur Canyon Experience Tour’, Winton

Finalist: Best Street Art Tour

It was the exhibits and tours of the multi-faceted Dinosaur Canyon at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs that secured the Awards’ judges admiration. A Dinosaur Canyon experience tour introduces visitors to life-sized prehistoric sculptures that accurately depict mysterious creatures that once roamed our country.

‘Fifth Lane Street Art Mackay’

Finalist: Best Street Art Laneway

The Project started with a small group of local artists wanting to beautify one of the major laneways in the heart of the Mackay City Centre. The original idea of brightening up the walls developed into an engaging creative space full of murals, paste-ups, digital and community art all fused with augmented reality technology. The artworks were all inspired by Mackay nature, wildlife and iconic local elements or experiences. With the new 2021 artworks, lighting and pavement, the laneway is a more user-friendly space for the local community and visitors to enjoy.

‘SWELL Sculpture Festival’, Currumbin (Gold Coast)

Finalist: Best Street Art Festival or Event

SWELL 2021 showcased 50 large-scale contemporary sculptures set among the natural landscape of Currumbin Beach. SWELL Sculpture Festival (SWELL) has extensive experience in delivering curated place-based programming as an Arts Organisation presenting Queensland’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition annually over the past 19 years, connecting people, art and place. Providing a solid reputable platform for artists to have a presence, voice, and to share their stories with the public, SWELL is an opportunity to present sculptures for public engagement.

‘The Maryborough Mural Trail’

Finalist: Best Street Art Trail

Maryborough is one of Queensland’s oldest cities, with European settlement starting in 1847, and was at one time its most wealthy. That has left a legacy of magnificent historic buildings. Officially launched in 2015, the two-kilometre mural trail is nestled amongst Maryborough’s time-honoured streetscape in the Heritage-listed city centre. If the walls of Maryborough’s city centre could talk then they would no doubt emulate the bright swirls and strokes of the 39 pieces that make up the Maryborough Mural Trail.

Arts tourists from within Australia are high value visitors – they stay 42.8% longer and spend 55.9% more when travelling than domestic tourists overall, according to an Australia Council for the Arts’ Domestic Art Tourism: Connecting the Country Report.

“Being shortlisted in the Awards seven times enhances Queensland’s reputation as a must-tour state for everyone who loves to discover visually stunning experiences,” Ms Rivers said.

The winners of all 11 categories will be announced on 4 March during an online celebration.

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