THE peninsula’s arts sector has received a boost as it seeks to recover from COVID-19 with the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery being given $300,000 from the federal government.
The grant will be used to set up public art events with 15 artists being commissioned by November to create works that “respond to key sites and stories that have shaped the Mornington Peninsula”.
“It doesn’t happen every day,” gallery director Danny Lacy said. “This is a great opportunity to present a broad project that displays the whole of the peninsula.”
Mr Lacy said the gallery was a major partner in the Front Beach, Back Beach project developed with Deakin University’s public art commission.
He said “project curators” would choose 15 local and national artists to “respond” in painting, sculpture, performance, or film to 15 locations, including Dromana Drive-In, Point Nepean and beaches.
The artworks will be displayed at the sites they represent in November next year before being exhibited at the gallery from December 2022 to March 2023.
Mr Lacy said the name Front Beach, Back Beach was chosen because the peninsula was surrounded by water. “We like the idea that the projects happen between the front beach and the back beach,” he said.
“It’s quite unique to our part of the world down here. We imagine some projects will be located close to the beach, but others will be inland.”
Mr Lacy said the grant would “ensure we can work in partnership with Deakin’s public art commission to deliver an ambitious public art project that celebrates key sites and stories across the whole of the peninsula”.
Flinders MP Greg Hunt said the money would provide “critical support” for the peninsula’s arts community and artists.
“Like our many small businesses and community organisations, artists contribute to their local communities, and it’s important they can continue to do so,” he said.