Creativity On Track As Art Trams Roll Out

Melbourne’s iconic trams will once again take artwork across the city after being transformed into mobile canvases for this year’s Melbourne Art Trams program.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley was in East Melbourne today as the first art tram for 2019 hit the rails.

Designed by artist and designer Nyein Chan Aung, the tram titled The Late Supper reimagines Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper with people enjoying a meal at Supper Inn Chinese restaurant, which has stood proud as a Melbourne dining institution for more than 40 years.

In addition to Nyein Chan Aung, this year’s trams features works from photographer Kent Morris, street and stencil artist Vandal, printmaker Sophie Westerman, communications designer Gene Bawden and painter Nusra Latif Qureshi.

The Art Trams project runs as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival’s visual arts program and invites Victorian artists and community groups to submit designs that will be printed on eight trams.

Now in its seventh year, the project is a partnership between the Andrews Labor Government, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Public Transport Victoria and Yarra Trams. It follows the Government’s much-loved Transporting Art initiative which ran from 1978 to 2003.

Over its 25-year run, Transporting Art saw Victorian creative luminaries such as Mirka Mora, Reg Mombassa and Michael Leunig painstakingly paint bright and colourful artworks onto trams.

The 2019 Community Art Tram will display the colourful work of Year 3 students from Beaconhills College in Berwick and in a nod to the celebrated history of the Transporting Art initiative, another tram will recreate a 1986 art tram painted by artist Lesley Dumbrell.

The Art Trams will be added to the network this week and will be on the tracks until August 2020. Voting will soon open for the People’s Choice Award, with a $5,000 prize for the winning design.

For information about this year’s Melbourne Art Trams and the artists behind them, visit festival.melbourne.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley

“Melbourne has the world’s largest tram network where 200-million-plus trips are taken each year. These art trams are a great way to brighten commuters’ days with some of the best contemporary art Victoria has to offer.”

“The trams show that Melbourne isn’t just as a city where cultural experiences only exist inside galleries, museums and theatres – it’s a city where creativity is waiting for you at the tram stop.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne

“Melbourne’s trams are iconic around the world – making them the perfect canvas to display the work of some our state’s best artists.”