New arts plan and advisory group will help City of Bayswater catch up to ‘progressive’ councils


Bayswater deputy mayor Stephanie Coates put forward the motion for council to start an arts committee and create an arts plan. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Bayswater deputy mayor Stephanie Coates put forward the motion for council to start an arts committee and create an arts plan. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

A NEW arts plan and advisory group will aim to help City of Bayswater catch up to other “progressive” councils.

At last month’s council meeting , deputy mayor Stephanie Coates proposed the City establish a public art strategic plan that would direct management and curation of the City’s “significant” art collection worth $193,000, arts festival and awards, murals, film projects, performance, community and visual arts.

An arts advisory group would aim to provide advice on art competition judges, guidance on art acquisition, percent for art projects and significant works.

The plan will be included in the City’s 2017-2021 corporate business plan and could take up to five years to complete.

“I’ve heard from a number of local artists that we could manage our arts and culture better in the City,” she said.

“I think art contributes to the streetscapes and amenity of the area, be it through urban art, community art or art events.”

At the meeting, Cr Coates said the City art collection was “probably in a store room gathering dust”, but later said the majority of the 230-piece collection was displayed on the walls of the civic centre, libraries, leisure centres and senior citizens’ centres with the remainder kept in storage.

Cr Catherine Ehrhardt said an arts plan and advisory group was Bayswater “catching up” as “other progressive councils have had it for years”.

However, Cr Chris Cornish said he was concerned about spending $50,000 to $80,000 on consultation and a plan, plus potentially a full-time employee and preferred the funds spent somewhere else.

“That’s a fair whack of money,” he said.

“The artists are saying ‘we can manage arts better’, the sports people say ‘we can manage reserves better’… everyone thinks their field could be managed better.”

Most of the City’s art collection is from acquisition prizes offered as part of its annual art awards and includes oil, acrylic, water colour, charcoal and sculpture pieces.

The Town of Vincent and cities of Mandurah, South Perth and Joondalup have arts policies or strategies.