One of the most exciting and meaningful areas of art is public art, where creative works spill out from behind the Gallery walls and onto the streets.
For many people, their earliest interactions with art are with the public works found within their city, and Newcastle's public art program has been developed with this spirit of community and accessibility in mind.
In 1997 Newcastle City Council developed and implemented a Public art and Placemaking Program to enhance the relationship between Newcastle's communities and the built environment. The Placemaking Program has built on Newcastle City Council's proud tradition of commissioning significant public artworks.
Our public art celebrates and enriches the spaces and places within Newcastle, by commemorating events of significance to our city. The James Cook Memorial Fountain by Margel Hinder serves as an example, built in 1966 and sited in Civic Park for generations past and present to enjoy.
Recent works of public art include Grounded 2009, a sculpture by renowned Sydney-based artist John Petrie. Created to commemorate the 2007 Newcastle floods and beaching of the Pasha Bulker, Grounded is constructed from the ship's rudder and is an abstract representation of the ship's bow. The work is an important memory marker for the community and a powerful stand-alone work of art.
Other recent works include Suzie Bleach & Andrew Townsend The Adaptable Migrant (Newcastle Museum cr Merewether Street and Wharf Road Newcastle);Kelly-Ann Lees Caught (Fig Tree Park, Wickham); John Turier, Jennifer Denzin, Jesse Neale, Rebecca Ramsey, Stephanie Cannon and Darren Atkins Governor’s Garden (Steele Street, Marketown); and Joanna O’TOOLE Passing Shower (Newcastle Art Gallery).