Five Queensland public art experiences have secured national accolades at the 2022 Australian Street Art Awards, held on the Sunshine Coast. The SWELL Sculpture Festival won a second consecutive Gold Award for Best Street Art Festival and Event, which had Currumbin Beach transformed into a gallery showcasing sculptures, performances, and conversations.

The Silver Award for Best Rural Art went to Digging Up the Dirt – a mega-size mural painted by Joel Fergie and Travis Vinson on Hughenden’s water tower.  The Maryborough Mural Project snagged a Silver Award for Best Street Art Trail – their second win in two years for the 39 pieces that make up this Trail in their city centre. The Wandoan Soldier Settlers Precinct was named the Silver winner of the Best Monument or Memorial category. Wandoan’s O’Sullivan Park hosts an avenue of art and nature that honours the WWI soldiers who founded the precinct.

Yeppoon’s Let’s Get Crabby in a Big Way won the Bronze Award for Best Landmark Sculpture. Artist Brendon Tohill was commissioned to create eight large bronze soldier crabs across from Lammermoor Beach. These experiences were among 29 across 11 categories that won Gold, Silver or Bronze Awards. The Australian Street Art Awards encourages Australians to discover street and public art located all across Australia.

Awards Director Liz Rivers said, “These art experiences contribute significantly to making Australia a more vibrant, creative and interesting country – somewhere visitors want to explore more keenly.” Australian arts tourists stay and spend more daily than domestic tourists overall, according to the Australia Council for the Arts. Other accolades included the second annual Outstanding Contribution to Australian Art Tourism Award awarded to Cindi Drennan, founder of Illuminart, and the Best of the Best award granted to ‘Dyipni – Da King of Da Road’, a tribute to Filipino emigrants in Western Australia.

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