New artworks turn Manawatū streetscapes into galleries

Bland cabinets across Manawatū have been turned into lively artworks by talented artists thanks to a partnership between Chorus and Manawatū District Council.

Mayor Helen Worboys says the works are a great show of the creativity in Manawatū.

“They are bright, beautiful and do a great job of cheering up our roadsides. It’s a good example of council, private enterprise and community creativity coming together to make something fabulous,” she says.

Over the past year the programme has created six new pieces of public art from talented local artists.

The works are diverse, celebrating all that’s best in Manawatū, including its diversity, the district’s cats, the surrounding landscapes, creativity, and finally a tribute to friendship by 11 year old Beth McMenamin.

“It’s two friends sitting on a tree swing, looking at a sunset. It’s about remembering that even when life is hard there is always beauty to be found around us. It’s called Precious Memories,” says Beth.

Chorus Community Relations Manager Jo Seddon says the Chorus cabinet art programme started as an experiment to stop graffiti in 2010 but has been phenomenally successful.

“It’s resulted in hundreds of cabinets across the country becoming bright artworks, which are now rarely affected by graffiti. Added to that, the programme has helped some talented artists further their careers.

“We are particularly pleased with the work this year in Manawatu.”

Work is now under way to select the cabinets for the next round and artists can keep an eye on the Chorus website for when submissions open, usually around 1 July.