Street art brings vibrancy from Wall to Wall

Article image - Street art brings vibrancy from Wall to Wall A work by artist Adnate.

The unlikely combination of a peaceful rural town and cutting edge street art has proved a winner for Benalla Rural City, which recently hosted the second successful Wall to Wall festival.

Throughout the central business district and now at the Winton Wetlands, artworks on a massive scale dominate building walls, while smaller pieces appear in laneways and around corners. There are now 28 pieces that combine to make Benalla a must-see destination for street art lovers.

Thousands visited Benalla Rural City throughout the weekend-long festival in March, during which visitors were able to watch seven male and seven female artists create their work ranging from super realist portraits to more graffiti-style works.

“The Wall to Wall festival ran for a weekend but it provides a year round attraction to visitors who now have an extra reason to leave the Hume Freeway and see what we have to offer,” said Mayor Justin King.

“The festival’s success is due to a powerful collaboration between the Benalla Street Art Committee, the Juddy Roller studio and its creative director Shaun Hossack and the Council, and terrific support from our local community which has a long tradition of supporting the arts.

Everyone involved is to be congratulated for creating such a wonderful asset for Benalla Rural City.”

The event was conceived from a Council-sponsored business breakfast in 2014 when Shaun Hossack addressed local business owners who subsequently convened the Benalla Street Art Committee. The Committee and many volunteers have coordinated the festival two years running, this year crowd funding more than $9000 for the event, with Juddy Roller managing the artistic direction and organisation. The Council contributed $10,000, some of which came from the Councillors’ allowances. Council staff also provided considerable in-kind support to the event.

Jim Myconos of the Benalla Street Art Festival Committee said that they were extremely grateful for the Council’s support.

“The Council has been really good to us,” Mr Myconos said. “The grant really helped kick-start our funding campaign, and it gave us the fillip we needed for our confidence to make the festival a success.”