Welcome to Knox
Skip Links
Visit facebook.com/KnoxcouncilVisit twitter.com/knoxccVisit youtube.com/knoxccVisit our LinkedIn pageContact Knox City Council

Wall to Wall Mentoring Program 2016

Involving local business, community groups, professional artists and at risk youth Wall to Wall has affected behavioural change and encouraged increased understanding of street art, stencilling, graffiti art, paste ups and tagging amongst the community.

Bayswater Youth Hall

Knox City Council’s Wall to Wall Mentoring Program in 2016 included select students from Scoresby Secondary College and Bayswater Secondary College. The walls transformed in the 2016 program were located at Bayswater Youth Hall and the pharmacy at Scoresby Village. The project has been funded as part of the Victorian Government's Community Crime Prevention Program, aimed at curbing illegal tagging.

The artist mentors for this year’s program are James Beattie and Carmen Davies. The two own Graffix Creative, and are international street artists living in Melbourne. James and Carmen travel extensively for street art commissions and festivals, and also work on community projects like this one.

‘We are hoping that these murals can provide an identity for Knox, and in turn, change perceptions about street art as a legitimate art form,’ said James.

Illegal graffiti in Knox costs thousands of dollars a year to remove and programs like these are recommended by legal government bodies to allow kids to express themselves creatively in a non-harmful way, while working with diverse groups in the community, and learning project management skills.

As part of the project, students are required to work with the street artists on every aspect of the creation of a legal wall, from liaising with the traders, working on the proposed concept for the mural, and painting the wall.

‘We really hope that through our mentorship of these kids, they can be reminded of the great things about where they live, and feel a sense of ownership over what they are creating in their community,’ said James.

Knox has a significant street and graffiti art history with several prominent artists of the genre living in or near Knox. In fact, some of these artists have become internationally renowned and now base themselves in Los Angeles, competing in regular international graffiti jams and exhibiting across the world.

Street art has been known to improve community spaces by making public spaces more inviting and bridging divides between street artists, traders and the wider community.

The first workshops with the schools were an absolute thrill for the students involved.

Catherine Watson, a teacher from Bayswater Secondary College, spoke highly about the benefits of the program for her students. With the program kicking off just after the Term 1 holidays, she believes the project will help settle some of the students back into the school routine.

‘Some of these kids can be a bit disengaged at school but just this morning they were hi fiving each other and there was a real sense of excitement about this first workshop,’ she said.

Observing the change in the kids’ behaviour in the transition from the initial talk in the classroom, to their first opportunity to buff their wood slats and try out the spray cans, Catherine commented:

‘It’s like magic. I mean look at the change that is already happening when the kids get out and do something more practical. The students are interacting with other students that they wouldn’t usually talk to,’ she said.

One of the girls who refused to put on a mask to try out the spray cans changed her mind when she was outside.

‘You can see the difference quite clearly for these kids when they do a project like this. Some of them don’t respond as well to conventional teaching in the classroom, so programs like these for VCAL teachers are perfect,’ she said.

The Wall to Wall Mentoring program commenced on the 11 April and finished on 13 May 2016. There was a launch of the mural at Scoresby Village in early June. The Mayor and selected delegates were present at the launch of this exciting project.

For further information please contact Jo Herbig, Community Arts Officer on 9298 8000 or email jo.herbig@knox.vic.gov.au

Scoresby StudentsStudentsStudentsScoresby StudentsPlanning sessionA brick wallA transformed brick wallCompleted Scoresby WallBayswater Youth HallBayswater Youth HallBayswater Youth HallBayswater Youth HallCompleted Bayswater Youth Hall
Powered by