Aspiring young aerosol artists will be able to practice their art in a safe and supportive environment following the installation of street art walls at the Katoomba Youth Centre at the weekend [July 7-8].
Funded by Scenic World’s philanthropic program Scenic World Shared, the project provides a safe and lawful platform for young aerosol artists to practice their art with the support of youth workers and fellow artists.
It also provides new opportunities for budding artists to collaborate and share ideas, reduces the impact of illegal graffiti, and provides an avenue for the centre to host art workshops as part of its community development program.
Mountains Youth Services Team manager, Damian Cooper, said the street art project would have a profound impact on aspiring young aerosol artists who have struggled to find a safe place to express themselves through their art.
“There is a disconnect between a community that is supportive of street art and the lived experience of young disengaged graffiti writers looking to be validated,” he said, adding that limited options to paint legally posed a significant challenge for young aerosol artists.
“Young artists paint illegally on private and public property because they have nowhere else to paint, costing the community money and putting themselves at risk of becoming involved in the justice system,” he said.
“This project will give those young people a safe place to paint and reduce the cost to the community.”
A team of talented Scenic World staff have thrown their support behind the project, volunteering their time and experience to complete the project at the weekend.
Led by Scenic World carpenter Drew Hoffman and contractor Ben Frazer, a team of five young locals and three youth workers rolled up their sleeves to construct the art walls, learning about project management and how to use power tools along the way.
Scenic World managing director Anthea Hammon applauded the efforts of everyone involved and acknowledged the impact the project will have on the broader Blue Mountains community.
“It’s a great privilege to support local organisations like Katoomba Youth Centre who are doing such positive work in our community each and every day,” she said.
“MYST has played an important role in supporting many of our valued staff over the years, and no doubt the impact of the street art project will extend far into the future.”
The street art project received a $5000 grant via the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s (FRRR) Small Grants for Rural Communities program which supports local projects that help to strengthen communities.
Through its philanthropic program Scenic World Shared, Scenic World provides $16,000 of funding annually to support Blue Mountains community projects in partnership with FRRR.