Cabinets reflecting the community
Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has joined forces with the Arrowtown Business and Promotion Association and Chorus to beautify some of the telecommunication cabinets in the area. Design submissions are now being accepted from local artists (or those with an idea) to paint the boxes with something that reflects the stories of our local community.
The green boxes aren’t the most inspiring to look at, so back in 2010 the team at Chorus began the initiative in Auckland to try and reduce the amount of vandalism on the cabinets. It proved successful and has now been rolled out throughout Aotearoa with an average of 170 murals completed each year.
“It’s a win for everybody because we employ local artist, we get murals on our cabinets that help beautify the streets, and communities get artworks that they grow to love,” says Jo Seddon, Chorus Community Relations Manager. “It’s a great initiative and it’s all over – we’re working from the Far North right down to Invercargill, and we’re across on the West Coast of the South Island, Christchurch and New Plymouth – we’re kind of just all over.”
This year, QLDC has nominated five cabinets for the facelift – two in Queenstown and Arrowtown and one in Lake Hayes – with hopes of continuing the programme in years to come. Jan Maxwell, Relationship Manager Arts and Events at QLDC, says that it’s all about having a bit of fun and making people notice something that they normally wouldn’t look twice at.
“All the entries so far are quite different,” says Jan. “They’ve all looked at the word community in a different way. I can’t say there’s necessarily a theme, but they’ve definitely got the idea of what a community is, so that will help guide us in the selection process.”
In addition to the cabinet art programme that Chorus offer, they produce a calendar each year from the murals that have been created in the past year. With 12 murals selected to appear annually, last year there were three selected from our area, which Jo describes as “quite a good hit rate.” There was one design from Cardrona and two from around Wanaka.
“If people have even just got an idea, they may not have even thought about a design, just put it in because there’s no timeframe on this. It would be better to start working when it’s warmer, but there’s a little bit of time for people to develop a design or a concept if they’ve just got an idea. Sometimes an idea can grow into something amazing,” says Jan.
If you’ve got a bit of a creative flair, or some ideas floating around your head, you have until 31 August to submit your designs. All submissions are collected through the cabinet art website here chorus.co.nz/community/cabinet-art-programme and undergo a fair selection process. Time to get designing!