Artists helping to put Benalla on world street art map

February 28, 2018

Some of Benalla-based artist Tim Bowtell’s work, which will feature at the Wall to Wall Festival in March. Picture: Nicole Reed

Some of the world’s most exciting street artists have been named in the line-up for the 2018 Wall to Wall Festival, which is set to ‘‘transform’’ Benalla’s cityscape this March.

Local artists have been named to paint alongside leading street artists, highlighting the strong talent across the region. And this year the Festival has achieved gender parity of artists, with 10 men and 10 women participating.

The artists at this year’s Festival are: Anthony Lister, Callum Preston, Claire Foxton, Dvate, Elle, George Rose, Georgia Hill, Justine McAllister, Kaff-eine, Leonard Siaw, Lisa King, Lolo YS, Loretta Lizzio, Shawn Lu, Tom Gerrard, Tim Bowtell, Cristen Brunner, Zenisis, Chris Henderson and Julian Clavijo.

Victorian artists include Tim Bowtell and Zenisis from Benalla, Cristen Brunner from Shepparton and Chris Henderson who is originally from Yackandandah.

Artistic director Shaun Hossack said these artists will change the urban landscape of Benalla.

‘‘The town of Benalla is going to be transformed over the next few months as some of the most talented street artists in the world come to regional Victoria,’’ Mr Hossack said.

‘‘This is by far the best festival we have curated yet and visitors are in for a real surprise with some of the works that will be on display. I am incredibly excited to have so many local artists painting alongside artists from Kuala Lumpur, New York, the Bay Area, as well as across the country.

‘‘It is great exposure for these artists and it shows that local artists can compete alongside the best in the world.’’

Benalla-based artist Tim Bowtell said the Festival has a magical impact on his hometown.

‘‘I love this time of year when Benalla awakens and the streets are transformed into something really special. It’s one big open air studio for all to enjoy,’’ he said.

‘‘Being a local artist is a huge bonus because not only do I get to do my art alongside some of the great street artists, but I then get to enjoy and be inspired by the gems left behind by the artists.

‘‘The Wall to Wall Festival has changed what it means to be an artist in Benalla and we are developing a reputation as a world-class street art hub.’’

It is not only conventional street art that will be on display at the Festival. Callum Preston, a self-confessed sucker for nostalgia, will recreate an operational, life-size milk bar.

Stationed at the Benalla Art Gallery, Milk Bar is set to be an immersing experience which will transform the spectacular main room of the Gallery.

The Benalla Wall to Wall Festival will run on the March Labour Day long weekend, March 9-12.

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