Public Art Fund applications open


14 March 2018

Applications are now open for a Public Art Fund which will support Whanganui’s reputation as a place of art, heritage and culture.

Whanganui District Council will administer the $25,000 fund, which is contestable and will require matched funding. The fund’s allocation was adopted by councillors as part of the Council’s 2017/18 Annual Plan and consultation process. It replaces the Sculpture Whanganui Fund.

As a matched fund, any successful grants will only be disbursed once the same amount of funding is sourced by applicants from additional sources (for instance, if someone applies for $5000 from the Public Art Fund, they will need to match that with $5000 from other places).

Council Property and Community Services chair, Cr Helen Craig, says the Whanganui public have been asking for more public art for years.

“We know we are a creative district and public art is the very visual representation of that. It’s hoped this fund will stimulate more Whanganui artists to experiment in this specific art form, including our iwi.”

Cr Craig says public art creates interest and vibrancy and also grows a feeling of community, pride and belonging.

“The various murals that have appeared throughout the district in the last few years reflect that very well, and Castlecliff’s Rangiora Street is a great example of how the murals and the driftwood dinosaur add hugely to the rejuvenation of that suburb.”

The Council’s Arts Facilitator, Riah King-Wall, says the Public Art Fund is designed to support the delivery of innovative and exciting public art in Whanganui.

“We are excited to see the broad scope of artworks that will be supported by the fund. Projects could include sculpture, street art, digital art, moving image or installations, or artists contributing to urban design developments for parks, streets, bridges, buildings and street furniture. It could even assist artists working with communities in public spaces – there are a huge range of possibilities,” says Riah.

Applications will be assessed twice yearly by the Public Art Steering Group to ensure they meet the criteria and outcomes of the Public Art Fund Guidelines.

The closing date for applications is 5.00pm on Thursday, 3 May 2018 for projects that will be completed between 1 June 2018 and 31 May 2019.

More information is available from: or you can contact Riah King-Wall at

Page reviewed: 15 Mar 2018 3:00pm