Victoria – First 2014 Melbourne art tram hits the tracks

· First of eight new Melbourne Art Trams unveiled
· Victorian Coalition Government partners with Yarra Trams and
Melbourne Festival
· Napthine Government strengthening Melbourne’s reputation as a
creative city

Commuters can look forward to a dash of creativity with their daily commute as Melbourne’s latest art tram hits the tracks.

Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria today launched the first of eight new moving artworks to be rolled out across Melbourne’s tram network in October.

“This first tram in the series, by renowned street artist Rone, has a distinctly Melbourne flavour – bringing the vibrant, layered aesthetic of Melbourne’s laneway culture to the main thoroughfares of the city,” Ms Victoria said.

“It captures the spirit of the Melbourne Art Trams program, and the spirit of contemporary Melbourne.”

Rone is a well-known figure of Melbourne’s street art scene with his work becoming a familiar sight on the streets of the city. One of his most striking works is the nine-storey high mural L’Inconnue De La Rue (The unknown girl of the street) at 80 Collins Street.

A partnership between the Victorian Coalition Government (through Arts Victoria), Yarra Trams and the Melbourne Festival, the Melbourne Art Trams program transforms Melbourne’s iconic trams into large-scale mobile public artworks. The program was launched last year and is a new take on the fondly remembered Transporting Art scheme which saw 36 artists paint trams between 1978 and 1993.

In a further link to the original scheme, each year one of the Transporting Art artists is invited to be part of the Melbourne Art Tram judging panel.
This year, Michael Leunig, who painted a tram in 1986, joined Ms Victoria, Festival Creative Director Josephine Ridge and Yarra Trams Chief Executive Officer, Clement Michel to select the 2014 winning entries.

Ms Ridge said a further seven art trams will be unveiled progressively in the lead up to, and during, the 2014 Melbourne Festival, which runs from 10 to 26 October.

“Last year’s art trams were a highlight of the Festival’s visual arts program. Quintessentially Melbourne, they were a hit with our audiences and with the public more broadly. This year we look forward to the trams extending the Festival’s impact – and delivering great art – right across the city and suburbs,” Ms Ridge said.

Mr Michel said he was thrilled that Melbourne’s tram network will once again become a roving art gallery.

“Melbourne is world renowned for its vibrant arts culture and its iconic trams. What better way to bring these talented artists’ works to life, than by showcasing them across our extensive tram network?

“Our passengers love to see the art trams on their routes – many actively seek them out by tracking their location through our tramTRACKER mobile app,” Mr Michel said.

The other 2014 Melbourne Art Tram artists, selected from 150 entries, are:

· Jeff Makin, leading Australian landscape painter, and one of the
original Transporting Art artists;
· Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, internationally renowned Indigenous
· Kristin Headlam, an award-winning painter who uses photographic
images in her artistic process;
· James Cattell, an artist whose career has spanned puppetry, street
performance, public art and picture books;
· Christian Thompson, inaugural Charlie Perkins scholar and an
internationally-acclaimed multi-disciplinary artist;
· Janine Daddo, painter, cartoonist and illustrator; and
· Emerging artist, Callum Croker, a Year 12 student at Wesley College.

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