Street artists used to paint here in secret. Now it’s open to anyone from the public

It’s one of the reasons he’s lobbied to have dedicated public spaces for artists across the city.

Loading

“I think when the lord mayor first asked me what it’s like to be a street artist in Brisbane, I took a sip of my beer and said, ‘do you want my honest answer or my polite answer?’,” Tervo said.

Two years and two walls later, council needs no convincing that public art created by local talent is of value to the city. “It’s something we want to encourage people to do and develop their skills,” Schrinner said.

Accomplished large-scale muralist Fintan Magee also attended the launch.

For Magee, creating public spaces for art is beneficial for any artist trying to gain visibility.

“It’s not just teenage kids [who are street artists] any more. It’s adults with actual jobs, artists, designers, teachers,” Magee said.

“I studied at QCA (Queensland College of Art) in Brisbane and I remember feeling like going through the gallery world was this impenetrable kind of gate-kept scene.

“By putting my work on the street, it’s like I could directly communicate with an audience.”

Ekibin Park has proved there is an appetite for public art in Brisbane – and a broad audience eager to enjoy it.

Matt Tervo (left) and Fintan Magee (right) both grew up in Brisbane. They’re passionate advocates for the city’s creative scene and want to ensure there are more opportunities for local artists to learn and grow their practice here.

Matt Tervo (left) and Fintan Magee (right) both grew up in Brisbane. They’re passionate advocates for the city’s creative scene and want to ensure there are more opportunities for local artists to learn and grow their practice here.Credit: Courtney Kruk

“It helps bring the worlds together,” Tervo said.

“You go down to [Ekibin] and you’ve got old ladies taking photos with the artists. It lets people know that we’re not scary.”

A third public art wall is set to open next month at a skate park in Paddington.

Schrinner said the plan is to have locations like this all around the city where people can see “constantly evolving outdoor galleries, painted by local people”.

But the opportunity doesn’t rest on next-gen talent alone. Art is a way for Brisbane to tell its story, while carving a vision for its future.

“In eight years’ time, we’re going to have the Olympics here,” Tervo said.

“By being afforded the space to practise and to lift our art form, it means when the world does come to Brisbane, they will see what we’re really about.”

This post was originally published on this site