Following a legal street art trial at McIvor Road Skate Park in 2016, the City of Greater Bendigo maintains it has no plans to approve a legal street art space.
Council strategy and growth director Bernie O’Sullivan said despite the best efforts of street artists at the skate park, work was still tagged over “with illegal and sometimes offensive graffiti.”
Council then decided to discontinue using the site for legal graffiti.
Street artists were hoping to secure a legal street art space in the CBD for anyone to practise and show their work. They will now have to do so through an agreement with the property owner.
Graffiti is unwanted marking of another person's property, while street art is work done with permission.
Street artist Nathan Sims (aka Mr Dimples) said there were few options for creating a legal, ever-changing street art wall that anyone could use.
“The only option we really have now is a business (offering us space),” he said.
Since the original call-out for street art sites last week, two people have put forward proposals to Mr Dimples.
“One lady was from Dingee but it is a bit far out,” he said.
“Another was the creek walls between Maple and Wade streets. That could be an option but isn’t in (the CBD) like we hoped.”
Mr O’Sullivan said street art projects using commissioned pieces included Pennyweight Walk, Project Underpass along the Bendigo Creek, and Chancery Lane.
“(Council) will continue to explore art opportunities for public buildings and spaces but finding buildings without heritage overlays that are within the city’s ownership is difficult,” he said.
“We encourage other property owners to support artists where possible through private commissions, (but) planning permits may be required and not all sites are appropriate for street art.”
Council has graffiti prevention programs to help manage illegal graffiti and street art – no matter how good the art is.
It said any artwork or graffiti put on city-owned buildings without permission will be removed and that land owners are responsible for removing unwanted graffiti from their property.