Festive art New festival planned for businesses’ windows
Benalla is getting a second street art festival with the first annual ‘‘Window to Window’’ taking place on November 30.
With the town already known as the regional street art capital of Australia, Window to Window is sure to be popular with locals and visitors alike.
Organiser Jim Myconos, who was also part of the original Wall to Wall committee, said the new festival was the brainchild of a group of local small business owners.
‘‘What we’re trying to establish is a new annual festival, which draws people to Benalla and supports our local businesses,’’ Mr Myconos said.
‘‘We have invited all of the businesses in the CBD to donate a window.
‘‘The theme which we’ve asked artists to follow is that we simply want them to express themselves and the artistic ability they have.
‘‘The only thing we’re asking is that they all include a Christmas icon somewhere in their painting.
‘‘We will then promote the event as ‘ Come to Benalla to find Christmas’.’’
Organisers want to create a great atmosphere in the CBD and hope that in searching for the Christmas icons people will be encouraged to have a look at the shops behind the paintings.
‘‘We really want to promote the businesses in town and we hope Window to Window can stimulate the economy by drawing people in from out of the area,’’ Mr Myconos said.
There are already 35 artists painting a window, some will be painting two as 50 businesses have signed up.
Therefore organisers are encouraging local artists to get in contact with Mr Myconos on 0448 817 006 if they would like to take part.
A good percentage of the Window to Window artists are attached to Benalla’s North East Artisans (NEA).
Three of those, Cornelia Selover, Tim Bowtell and Chris Thorne, are signed up to take part and are looking forward to the event.
‘‘I was very lucky to be chosen to be an artist for Window to Window,’’ Ms Selover said.
‘‘I got involved through NEA, I’m one of the founders here at North East Artisans, as is Tim Bowtell and we’ll both be painting a window.
‘‘Being a part of NEA we tend to get asked to do a lot of things and we love to get involved when we can and support the town in any way possible.’’
Mr Bowtell said having a second street art festival showed how strong Benalla’s art community was.
‘‘We’ve got 45 artists just connected to NEA alone, so it hasn’t been difficult sourcing people who would like to paint one of the windows,’’ Mr Bowtell said.
‘‘Window to Window will be a bit different to Wall to Wall as the art is slightly more temporary.
‘‘It’s up to the shop owner how long it will stay, up. They can leave it up for a month or take it off the next day, it is up to them.’’
Mr Thorne said that the public would be encouraged to interact with the artists and he was looking forward to meeting visitors.
‘‘We are encouraging the community to come down and actually talk with the artists to see what we’re doing and what the story is behind the art,’’ Mr Thorne said.
‘‘The windows will be painted mainly around Bridge St, Carrier St and Nunn St.
‘‘We’re trying to keep it central, and all the painting will happen on November 30.
‘‘We start at 11 am and we need to be finished by 6 pm.’’
As the artists finish up festivities will move down to the Mural where a community event will be held.
That event will include live music, a sausage sizzle and organisers are in talks with a local winery to supply drinks.
For more information and updates, visit Window to Window on Facebook.
Excited: Window to Window artists Chris Thorne, Cornelia Selover and Tim Bowtell.