Plans are underway to create new aerosol art murals in the Upper and Lower Mountains following the completion of successful projects in Katoomba and Faulconbridge last month.
Former Springwood artist Janne Birkner transformed the toilet block in Faulconbridge’s Jackson Park with a native bird design while Giles Fryer and Dom Attard gave a blank wall in Katoomba’s Studleigh Place a new lease of life.
Now based in Sydney, the three artists volunteered their time to complete the murals which were funded by money from the Federal Attorney-General’s Proceeds of Crime Act.
“These are really talented, senior aerosol artists who volunteered five days of their time — and their talent — to do community arts projects,” said Blue Mountains Street Art Collaborative co-ordinator Jarrod Wheatley, who oversaw the project with Blue Mountains City Council.
“It’s rare to find someone from any demographic to volunteer five days on a project and give something to the community for free.”
Joanna Brown, the youth services development officer with Blue Mountains City Council, said the projects were welcomed by their neighbouring communities.
“We did a letterbox drop with residents at Faulconbridge and the response we got from them was great,” she said.
With the Jackson Park toilet block regularly targeted by vandals, the murals will also save council money in ongoing graffiti cleaning costs.
“In six or seven years of mural work, I’ve never seen a mural been touched within five years,” said Mr Wheatley.
“It’s a great outcome for the community — the mural looks great and its livens up the park — but it also provides a strong financial saving for the Blue Mountains local government area.”
Ms Brown said the project had another benefit as well.
“I think it builds rapport between the younger artists and the broader community,” she said. “It’s a chance for people to be able to see what they do, for people to realise they are . . . not scary hoodlums.”
Funded for two years, the project’s next two murals should completed by October this year in the Upper and Lower Mountains, said Mr Wheatley.