Arts @ Council
Alice Springs Town Council Art Collection
Alice Springs Town Council’s art collection consists of over 350 artworks and represents several decades of award-winning artworks from the Caltex Art Award (later known as the NT Art Award) and the Alice Prize.
Pieces acquired by the Central Australian Art Society and the Alice Springs Art Foundation, between 1968 and today, have been generously donated to Council for the people of Alice Springs. The collection comprises a noteworthy 30% of the Araluen Art Collection, where it is commonly held, and features around 20 painted boards from the early Papunya period – the start of the Western Desert Art Movement, famous for its Aboriginal dot paintings.
Council’s Civic Centre is home to the extraordinary Battle for the Spinifex series (shown above) by then local artist, Kaye Kessing – 11 paintings highlighting the feral animal problem in Central Australia. Kaye’s vibrant and entertaining artworks were also used as scene backdrops for an educational play which toured Australia in 1990.
There are numerous public artworks to see in Alice Springs. So much so, that Council has prepared a free map, highlighting the locations of dozens of murals, sculptures, decorative tiles and functional artworks. More than 20 artworks can be found within the Todd Mall and CBD area and more are added each year, supported by Council’s Public Art Advisory Committee.
In September 2020 Council launched its interactive online public art map — www.alicesprings.nt.gov.au/artmap The map is a key objective of the Alice Springs Town Council’s Arts and Cultural Plan and has been developed in collaboration with artists, the community and proudly produced by local business. Having the ability to view online, visit, learn and engage with more than 60 public artworks is a benefit to both locals and visitors to Alice Springs. The map was jointly funded by Council and the Northern Territory Government through the Visitor Experience Enhancement Program.
Public art serves to celebrate our heritage and cultural diversity by creating visual landmarks, which act as natural gathering places for local storytelling and information-sharing. Public art also enhances the visual experience for visitors and encourage emotional connections with our uniquely creative town.
Hard copies of the Alice Springs Public Art Map are freely available from many visitor sites around town, or download one to your smart phone, here.
Alice Springs Town Council also has a registry of public art in Alice Springs. If you would like more information on a specific art work or works, please contact Council.
Alice Springs Town Council has developed a 10-year Public Art Masterplan after extensive consultations with residents and the creative and cultural sector. This Public Art Masterplan defines the vision, principles and a framework to guide decision-making on future public art. It builds on existing public art practices and policies and will help the Council to support the development of a relevant, diverse and exciting collection of public art in Alice Springs that is recognised as being of a high standard within Australia and abroad.
Public Art Advisory Committee
Council’s Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) is comprised of local government Elected Members, Council staff and members of the public, and meets each month to discuss the planning, development and maintenance of public art in Alice Springs. The general public is welcome to attend.
If you are interested in attending any of Council’s advisory committee meetings, information and dates can be found here. http://www.alicesprings.nt.gov.au/governance/meetings/meeting-information
Alice Springs Town Council – Arts and Cultural Policy
In 2007, the newly-formed PAAC developed Alice Springs Town Council’s first Arts and Cultural Policy, in response to an arts funding initiative by the NT government. Council’s policy provides a framework to ensure a standard of professional excellence in the planning and execution of all public art projects.
The present Arts and Cultural Policy 2017 ‑2021 provides strategic direction in making arts and culture an intrinsic part of the character, economy and appeal of Alice Springs. The document will support and guide future Council decisions in relation to arts and cultural programs, facilities and investments.
A copy of the current Alice Springs Town Council Arts and Cultural Policy 2017 ‑2021 can be found here.
Alice Springs Town Council – Arts and Cultural Plan
The Alice Springs Town Council Arts and Cultural Plan 2017- 2021 aims to ensure the local arts and cultural sector has the skills, resources and resilience to meet the greater ambition of building a strong and engaged community, through the arts. Public art in Alice Springs is integrated into the Places and Spaces action area of this plan.
A copy of the current Alice Springs Town Council Arts and Cultural Plan 2017 ‑2021 can be found here.