Hamilton Gallery and Greater Hamilton Library have commissioned artist Gene Stewart to create a new mural at the entry to both facilities.
Gene is from Portland and is highly experienced in creating large scale public art, having produced murals for the Portland and Casterton communities.
A large amount of applications were submitted by local artists from the South Western Region and Hamilton Gallery Artistic Director Joshua White said Gene stood out in what was a strong field.
“We felt that Gene had a good understanding of the Hamilton community and a grasp on the look and feel we are trying to create,” Mr White said.
The artwork, which will be installed over the coming week, is designed to foster community pride.
“This public artwork will help brighten up the entry to the Gallery and Library. These projects engage our community and help form an identity for an institution. We are very excited by the initial concepts supplied by Gene and we can’t wait to see what he produces”.
“The Library and Gallery initiated this project to help the local arts economy, as we know COVID-19 has significantly impacted regional Victorian artists. We can help the arts community, while also bringing some joy to the community,” Mr White added.
Successful artist Gene Stewart said he was excited by the opportunity.
“It is such a great opportunity for me, being able to make a work outside a Library and an Art Gallery. I spent a lot of my youth in Hamilton and I hope the artwork I create will really reflect the town. I can’t wait to get into this project,” Mr Stewart said.
Southern Grampians Manager of Arts and Culture, Amy Knight said this was the one many new public art projects planned for the Greater Hamilton region.
“These projects help foster community pride and add the liveability of our town, which is one of Council’s strategic priorities. The Cultural Arts team are developing some incredible projects for the future and we look forward to sharing these with the community,” Mrs Knight said.
Progress over the next week of the artwork will be documented through the Library and Gallery’s social media channels. We anticipate the artwork will be completed by the end of next week.
Previously, there were five sculptural artworks by Ian Bow (1914-1980) titled Energy, Counsel, Serenity, Self and Earth adhered to the wall. These works were commissioned by the City of Hamilton in 1961 and have been on outdoor display for a long period of time. These works are in desperate need of conservation. They will return on exhibition next year for the Hamilton’s Gallery 60th Anniversary.