Artists aim to revitalise former bank

PLANS APLENTY: Members of the Imagine Millicent Arts Group discuss the limitless possibilities outside the old Savings Bank of South Australia and Bankhouse Quilts building in Millicent's main thoroughfare George Street. The IMAG members include Millicent Business Community Association chairperson Lee Morgan, Millicent artist Caroline Hammat, building owner Helen Joyce and Millicent writer Moira Neagle.
PLANS APLENTY: Members of the Imagine Millicent Arts Group discuss the limitless possibilities outside the old Savings Bank of South Australia and Bankhouse Quilts building in Millicent’s main thoroughfare George Street. The IMAG members include Millicent Business Community Association chairperson Lee Morgan, Millicent artist Caroline Hammat, building owner Helen Joyce and Millicent writer Moira Neagle.

A SMALL group of committed Millicent residents are set to enliven the community through public art.

The Imagine Millicent Arts Group (IMAG) is planning its first project – a mural on the front façade of the former Bankhouse Quilts/Savings Bank of South Australia building in George Street.

The aim will create renewed interest in the Millicent townscape, enhancing the sense of pride that local residents have for their community, beautifying a rundown but architecturally interesting building and providing another item of interest to encourage visitors to stay a little longer in the area.

The theme for the mural is broadly “wind and water”, which capitalises on the clean natural resource landscape within which Millicent is located.

However, IMAG member and building owner Helen Joyce said the group was open to and keen to see design concepts that expand beyond these initial ideas.

“We are looking for quirky, fun and interactive elements on our façade,” Ms Joyce said.

“Art that will encourage people to cross the road, get out of their car or off their bike to have a better view and perhaps take a ‘selfie’.”

The building owners have committed a significant sum to ensure the building is fully prepared for the artist.

If all goes to plan, this project is set to cost in excess of $20,000.

Around half of this has been secured with the balance hopefully being sourced from government grants, donations and in-kind support.

This is the first project in a much broader and longer-term strategy to stimulate creative endeavours among and for Millicent residents that will see six or more public art works established in the Millicent township over the next two years.

Expressions of interest have been called for to design and paint the old bank facade with the artist including either a mentoring opportunity for a local artist or a workshop for the broader community in their application.

This is with a view to having those participants being involved in further IMAG projects and building local expertise.

“Public art has the power to transform and beautify a townscape, enhance a sense of community, draw visitors to a place and expand people’s thinking and vision of what life can be,” IMAG member Caroline Hammat explained.

IMAG has identified there is growing interest in the possibilities of public art in the wider community and is capitalising on this.

The group hopes Millicent and the broader community will offer its support for the project and help “re-imagine” Millicent.

IMAG has created an online presence via social media platforms Facebook and Instagram.

Visit imaginemillicent.wordpress.com for further information or contact Ms Hammat on 0428 347 837.