A GROUP of Bendigo street artists have given a fresh coat of paint to the Williamson Street underpass on the Back Creek Walk.
Last year, artists were tasked with Project Underpass to brighten up the underside of four bridges along the cycle path
But the art had been covered with tags and graffiti, prompting action from the street artists and the City of Greater Bendigo.
"It had been vandalised quite," street artist and organiser Reece Hendy said. "The City got in touch with me and asked about repairing the works.
"Instead of pressure washing the walls, I got some money to buy paint and we opened it up to the street artists of Bendigo."
There were more than 50 artists registered to paint on Saturday, but Mr Hendy said wild weather kept some away.
"We actually got flooded late in the afternoon twice," he said. "It didn't affect the artists too much but it affected where we had the paint set up.
"It turned into bit of a wild ending."
Bendigo artist Alicia Huddy was one of the 30 artists who participated in the project. She said it was a great opportunity to share her work.
"I found out about Paint Jam on Facebook," she said. "It was really well organised and a great idea. It was nice of the council to let us do it and there was a local there too who was loving it."
The community has embraced the new forms of art popping up around town, Mr Hendy said.
"Street art in these underpasses is really well respected by the locals," he said. "It creates a space that is a lot more inviting and engaging for the people who use it.
"It also gives ownership to the street artists. Rather than tagging over each others work, projects like this allow the artists to get to know each other more which creates a culture of respect."
Mr Hendy said he hoped the street art project would expand around Bendigo.
"Over the last three years, every time there have been projects down there, police have been called," Mr Hendy said. "But this year, considering we had about 30 artists there, police did not show up once.
"I think that tells the story of the acceptance of street art in that space.
"We made a really good start and given it a bit of a nudge to expand street art in Bendigo. Hopefully something like this will gain a bit of momentum."
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