Colourful new road art for Drews Avenue project

Published on June 11, 2021

Drews Avenue road art

It’s a busy time for Drews Avenue this month as a new streetscape is installed, with a colourful new mural being painted on the road over the next few weeks.

Town Centre project manager, Ellen Young, says getting the road art in is “really exciting because it will make such a dramatic statement. It demarcates the area as somewhere special and brings the project together.

“People will have to be patient with waiting to see the final design. Right now the first coats of paint are going on and it will look quite different once it’s complete, with all of the details added.

“This applies to the construction too, with plants and other features yet to go in. Fortunately you won’t have to wait long for the final result.”

 The road art and construction will be finished in time for the Drews Avenue street party celebration, which is combining with this year’s Lights on Bikes parade on Friday, 25 June.

“We can’t wait for everyone to come along and see the transformation – so many people have been involved with bringing this together and it’s going to be great to celebrate with the community.”

The Town Centre Regeneration team worked with two local artists, Cecelia Kumeroa and Jodi Clark, to come up with the design and experienced street artists Si Ormerod and Dan Mills are painting the design on the road.

 She says the overall concept behind the artwork is unity.

“Amongst other things, the design includes the saw-edged niho taniwha pattern representing protection and a raukumara design symbolising the growth of creativity and ideas.”

She says as well as being a stunning addition to our city, the artwork has a practical function.

“Research shows that applying this kind of large-scale art to the road slows traffic passing through, making it safer for visitors in a destination area like this.”

Other changes to the Drews Avenue streetscape will include greenery, seating and an outdoor gallery space with light boxes featuring UCOL student art.

Shanti Sibbing, who is organising the combined Lights on Bikes and Drews Avenue street party event, says the event is free and open to everyone.

“Come along to the brightest parade in town – we’re asking people to gather at the corner of Drews Avenue and Rutland Street at 6.00pm, with the parade leaving around 6.30pm.”

This year’s parade will follow a shorter route, heading down Drews Avenue to the river, along the river boardwalk and Taupo Quay to Bates Street then looping back through Pākaitore Moutoa Gardens and Rutland Street to Drews Avenue.

“People will be able to travel around the circuit numerous times, enjoying the performers, installations and good vibes along the way,” Shanti Sibbing says.

Live music will kick off in Drews Avenue around 7.00pm and there will also be food trucks, face painting and entertainment.

Ninety percent of the Drews Avenue project is funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets fund, which gives councils the chance to trial changes to streetscapes. Community feedback on the changes to Drews Avenue will be collected over a year to assess whether they should be removed, changed or made permanent.