Newcastle, Australia visits Motorcity, Michigan

Street Art Walking (SAW) was recently invited to be part of Project for Public Spaces inaugural event ‘Placemaking Leadership Council Meeting’ which is to be held in Detroit, Michigan on 10-12th April, 2013. Yet, with short notice of this great opportunity, our director needed to find extra financial support to attend this great opportunity.
After setting up a Pozible campaign, just over two weeks ago, the project has been supported by forty people raising over $1700. This means the flight to Michigan has been supported by the community that can see the value of Newcastle, Australia being involved in a global placemaking discussion. It has been truly heartwarming to see the support for myself and Street Art Walking from so many people. Thank you to all involved for supporting this initiative and I look forward to sharing all the amazing interactions that I am bound to have in this unique city.
Here are some people SAW will be meeting with:
I will be staying with a young couple in a house that has been getting TLC to be refurbished. It will be great to be staying with locals, whom are passion about the urban renewal of their city, just as I am about our own city, Newcastle.

Newcastle, Australia is in a state of change with many new developments on the horizon. It is vital that placemaking practices are shared with all levels of the community; residents, business owners, council, state government agencies and private developers have an exciting time ahead.As a member of the council, placemaking advocacy will be a large part of SAW’s role. To place Newcastle, Australia on this global platform at such a vital time is a great opportunity for our artists and organisation, but also the community and the clients that we work with.

It is a huge honour to be invited to be a member of this leadership council, as SAW has been striving for a more vibrant Newcastle since we started making murals in Newcastle, turning empty places into creative places.
You can learn more about the Pozible campaign, which is still running for three mroe days by going here. For more info about the Placemaking Leadership Council please click here.
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Newcastle, Australia visits Motorcity, Michigan

Let’s get Newcastle on a Global Map

Street Art Walking (SAW) have been invited by Project for Public Spaces (PPS) to go to Detroit, Michigan for an inaugural event ‘Placemaking Leadership Council Meeting’ in April 2013.

But we need your help to get there..

Why help?

  • SAW wants Newcastle to be aligned with the best cities in the world

  • We will be part of a highly valued and respected global community of placemakers

  • Being on the leadership council is a five year commitment to you and your community

  • We will host placemaking events with you about your city

  • Placemaking is an international movement that we must be involved in

Photo taken during our visit to New York at PPS Office, 2012

What is placemaking?
Placemaking is a multifaceted approach to planning, design and management of public spaces. It involves listening to the community and asking questions of the people who like, work and play in an area to discover their needs and aspirations.

We think this conversation is so very relevant for Newcastle and the future of our city. We want to be part of the process in creating good public spaces that promote health, happiness and well being.

It is a huge honour to be invited to be a member of this leadership council, as SAW has been striving for a more vibrant Newcastle since we started making murals in Newcastle, turning empty places into creative places.

We have launched a Pozible campaign to help us get to Detroit (we tried other funding avenues but there is not enough time to go through these avenues) and we are 27% on our way there, with eleven supporters, on even from Boston! We now need the local community to get behind the cause of making Newcastle the best place it can be.

SAW Mural by Stu McDonald

Aside

Urban Renewal, Exploration and Street Art Walking

So, things have been a little quiet on the Street Art Walking (SAW) homefront, as I have been working as Placemaking Coordinator for a project called Honeysuckle Alive.

Honeysuckle Alive aims involves a series of unique, temporary and permanent, projects that will activate and interact with public spaces in Honeysuckle, Newcastle. The program features elements of  art, creativity,  culture, music, leisure, functionality, fun and play. It has been quiet a contrast to working in other parts of ‘older’ Newcastle and a great experience in learning that even newly developed precinct have their own unique set of challenges.

SAW is still ticking over and has largely become a photographic documentation of all things street art, wherever I visit, featuring work in Sydney, Newcastle, New York and even my hometown, Mudgee.

This week I was asked a series of questions by Top Shelf Magazine on what inspired my interest in street art and where things may be going for SAW. Check out the article titled ‘Turning Around Decades of Decay’ here. Newcastle will always remain a source of inspiration for the work that is done here, as well a local organisation Renew Newcastle, which has made such an impact on the ground level here for our community.

For those that don’t know, I actually founded a gallery (ARThive) as part of my Honours studies at The University of Newcastle, through the Renew Newcastle program. It was the best hands-on experience I have had working in a DIY artist run initiative (ARI) and there is no way my career would have taken the path it has, without the support from this special organisation.

2013 will see some new directions for SAW and myself, after meeting with Brooklyn based Street Art Walk last year. After meeting with our US counterpart we have been ticking over was that we can offer a local guiding experience through Newcastle. Our scene here is far more spread out and there just is not as much graff or street art to show in a small walking tour. Yet, my interest in empty buildings and history could mean that our tours become a more urban exploration style tour, showcasing our eclectic mix of old and new.

I will be visiting Detroit this April and will be going on an urban exploration tour with DetroitUrbex so will surely gain some inspiration from this city and organisation.

Urban Renewal, Exploration and Street Art Walking

Cleaning up the city

This week we have been measuring up, well, lanes of space.

As many of you know, we have been (literally) working in Theatre Lane, pasting up art posters to ‘lift’ the area. The project is going well, considering the torrents of rain we have been having. Today, when we were doing some maintenance, we came across a very newly dead pigeon. We won’t go into detail, just to say, this is not the first time we’ve encountered such matter on the street.

In one area of Hunter Street mall, there are a number of properties sharing lane way space. Often, these areas, become overlooked and uncared for.

Our newest project is bringing together over three property owners, equating to over 500 per square metres of space.

The areas will need serious cleaning and clearing before artists can work in the area. Today we came across many spiders (including one very huge and angry red back), weeds and a broken couch, rotten with water and whatever else.

Soon the area will be transformed from a black hole into a brighter place, filled with artworks.

Expressions of interest from artists will be called very soon. Preparing photos, measurements and maps at the moment.

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Cleaning up the city