Council advocates for arts trail from Frankston to Langwarrin

Published on 08 April 2022

Arts Trail

Frankston City Council is seeking to partner with the State and Federal Governments to deliver an immersive arts and cultural experience trail from Frankston Foreshore to McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery, Langwarrin.

Mayor Nathan Conroy said the 7.4km immersive arts and cultural trail, along the popular Baxter Trail shared user path, will connect to existing regional cycling and nature trails.

Key features of the project include:

  • Enhancing the existing Baxter Trail shared user path from Frankston Foreshore, following the Stony Point Rail Line past Frankston Hospital (Peninsula Health), Monash University Peninsula Campus and recreation reserves, finishing at McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery;
  • Pathway rehabilitation and improvements, including a pedestrian crossing opposite McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery (west side of McClelland Drive, Langwarrin) and new pathway connection to Bunarong Park;
  • Installation of nine sculptures and three murals, complementing six existing public sculptures;
  • Boosting local recreation, tourism and arts experiences while improving health outcomes and economic viability of the Frankston City arts and culture sector; and
  • Connections to Jubilee Park, Ballam Park, Bunarong Park and Cruden Farm.

Mayor Nathan Conroy said: “Frankston is renowned for its burgeoning arts and culture scene – thanks to the Big Picture Fest our City now features 56 striking murals and we recently won gold at the 2021 Australian Street Art Awards for Best Street Art Tour.

“Our arts scene is garnering attention nationally and the proposed arts and sculpture trail will significantly add to the transformation our City into a vibrant destination for events, arts and culture,” the Mayor said.

Mayor Conroy added that Frankston Arts Centre is one of the largest metropolitan art venues in Australia and (pre-Covid) welcomes approximately 160,000 visitors each year. The Centre hosts year round local, national and international entertainment, showcasing unforgettable music, theatre, comedy, dance, opera and art.

Frankston City also boasts a range of 16 sculptures dotted throughout key parks, gardens and along the coastline complete the City’s sophisticated blend of urban, coastal and contemporary arts and cultural experiences.

Mayor Conroy said: “The project is costed at $6 million and we’re seeking equal contributions of $2 million from both the State and Federal Governments with Council also contributing $2 million.

“Throughout August 2020 and February 2021, we asked our community for their feedback and ideas on the issues that matter to them, how we can improve the challenges they face in their daily lives and their vision for the future of Frankston City.

“Residents told us they love the arts, how its transforming Frankston and that they’re enthusiastic for an arts trail – we’ve listened and that’s why we’re calling on the State and Federal Governments to partner with us to deliver this exciting project.”

McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery Director, Lisa Byrne, said: “The Arts Trail is an amazing opportunity to link the existing vibrancy of the arts and culture offerings across the municipality. It will grow participation through actively engaging the local community and visitors to walk, scoot, e-bike or use their mobility vehicles.

“There is so much happening already and so much to come ahead to support creative industries and the liveability of Frankston via diverse art experiences. Engaging directly with the local community, its history, the beautiful flora and fauna and actively encouraging people to be active participants in their neighbourhood through initiatives such at the arts trail, championed by the Council are much needed.

“Add to that the additional wow factor the trail will bring, together with numerous existing local arts and culture venues, linking them together to attract visitors to this beautiful seaside region. By driving visitation and partnership opportunities this will help the local economy by celebrating the unique community that is Frankston and surrounds,” Ms Byrne said.

Cruden Farm Executive Director, Daniel Sinclair Johnson, said: “Cruden Farm is an incredibly passionate supporter of the Arts Trail project. We are extremely excited by the proposal and believe it will enhance the community by linking places of cultural and artistic significance together delivering immeasurable benefits.

“Over the next few years Cruden Farm will become an event destination that truly celebrates all facets of horticulture. Our first stage is the creation of a public walking trail that will link with the proposed Arts Trail project.

“This free public access trail will circle the perimeter of Cruden Farm and will take you through wetlands, bushlands and farmland. Cruden Farm will always be a place of public recreation and we look forward to expanding and enhancing our offering to the community,” he said.

McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery is Australia’s first family-founded public gallery dedicated to art and sculpture. Sprawling across 16 hectares of bushland in Langwarrin, McClelland has a significant art collection of 2,700 works, including more than 100 sculptures in the park, attracting over 150,000 visitors every year.

The modernist gallery building, designed by Colin Munro and Philip Sargeant, opened in 1971 and celebrates the McClelland family’s initial gift to the local community, which was subsequently supported by philanthropists including Dame Elizabeth Murdoch until her passing. Its unique experience of art in the natural environment makes it the only place of its kind in Australia.

Mayor Conroy said through its relationship with McClelland Gallery, Council has been building its public art collection over the past five years to celebrate our rich arts history and current offering.

“Council is investing in creating a pedestrian and cycling trail along the Stony Point Railway Line that connects Frankston’s city centre with Frankston’s Health and Education Precinct, which encompasses Monash University Peninsula Campus and both Frankston Hospital and Frankston Private Hospital, as a first stage of the proposed arts and cultural trail.

“Delivering an immersive arts and cultural trail will encourage active transport for the over 5,000 Monash University students and 3,400 healthcare employees from Frankston’s city centre to the Health and Education Precinct, in addition to providing vital long-term tourism and economic benefits including the creation of much-needed jobs for creative and artistic workers,” the Mayor said.

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