AN ambitious project by local artists Julie Collins and her husband Derek John is planned to be staged in Ballarat in 2018.
Biennale of Australian Art (BOAA) will present over 100 artists along with selected Ballarat artists.
Ms Collins says the six-week event will be a major tourism draw card, injecting millions of dollars into the local economy and help define Ballarat as the City of the Arts.
“I have been living in Ballarat full time for 10 years and when I got here I thought it was the perfect town to hold a whole town visual arts festival,” she said.
“So that was when the idea first came up but I have actually been slowly developing the project for about 5 years.”
Ms Collins was working on another project, the Lorne Sculpture Biennale, which kept her busy until April this year.
“This period between now and September is about the fundraising and securing sponsors and different partnerships,” she added.
“From September to September we’ll be flying around Australia and sourcing artists, having meetings and developing projects with artists.
“I’ll be back in Ballarat looking at sites and things, so that is very much the artistic program period and then of course the artists will need at last 9 months to create their projects.”
BOAA will be a free festival of visual art showcasing over 100 of Australia’s most innovative contemporary artists. Ballarat will come alive with both large and intimate scaled projects over 50 different indoor/outdoor locations across Ballarat; providing exciting daytime and night-time experiences. The date for BOAA is from 21 September to 6 November 2018 and will be presented across 6 Art Zones throughout Ballarat.
Indoor and outdoor projects will be presented and it is expected over 100,000 people will visit BOAA.
“I will be calling for proposals, so I will be asking artists to come up with ideas,” Ms Collins said.
“I’m for innovative ideas – not just the high profile artists, but there are also artists who have been overlooked by the art world who may need a little bit of encouragement, a little bit of money to achieve great outcomes. “I think Ballarat is ready to take the next step towards the scene of a contemporary culture city.
“We have a fantastic heritage reputation here, I think we are more than heritage, we are full of contemporary, innovative ideas and a visual arts festival of this scale can really shift the way that people see Ballarat.”
It is estimated that $2.5 million of funding is required to stage the Biennale and Ms Collins said that this is a great opportunity for anyone wishing come on board through sponsorship or partnership.