Locals have the opportunity to create art work on a unique and highly public canvass.

This year sees the redesign of the Unison power boxes in the Rotorua CBD. The art on the power boxes will remain in the public eye for five to seven years.

Artists are invited to submit their plan with the theme of The Rotorua Experience. All styles - traditional, abstract and contemporary - are welcome.

Rotorua Lakes Council community arts adviser Marc Spijkerbosch says this was initially a Keep Rotorua Beautiful campaign in 1996.


He says the painted images combat graffiti and random advertising posters.

They were refreshed again eight years ago, which is around the expected life span, Marc says.

Marc says they are keen to see a more cohesive approach this time, hence the theme of The Rotorua Experience, which still offers a brief broad enough to allow wider vision and potential from Rotorua's creatives.

"This is a great opportunity for local artists to showcase their work. In fact, it helped launch my freelance career some two decades ago.

"It's also a great opportunity to revitalise what has become an important artistic feature in our CBD."

There are 30 power boxes in the central city to be redesigned and artists may choose to submit one or more designs.

Of these, some require a front design (one-sided) and others a front and rear design (two-sided).

Either variation also has space for artistic design on the sides and top, as the artist wishes. Artists are encouraged to plan for either scenario.

All selected entries will be given an award of $400 per one-sided or $800 per two-sided design upon completion and final approval by Unison.

In addition, Reader's Choice Awards of $1000 and $500 will be given to the first and second most votes received respectively through a published competition.

A ceremony will be held on December 15 to celebrate completion of the project, recognise the selected artists and award the People's Choice winners.

The final submission date for designs is October 7.

Power boxes will be available to be painted throughout November and must be completed by December 8.

For more information and to download an application form visit creativerotorua.org.nz or email Marc.Spijkerbosch@rotorualc.nz.