Three new public artworks will be unveiled in Whanganui over the next few months, with another to follow in 2022.
The first two will be installed this month with the opening of Claire Bell's engraved glass panels on the Taupo Quay bus shelters and Brydee Rood's A Future Canopy living sculpture opened in Burton Ave.
In August, Shannon Novak's vinyl LGBTQ+ abstract art work will appear in the Victoria Ave window of an empty shop.
The intention is for public artwork to be a source of pride, interest and inspiration for the public while also providing support for creative locals, Whanganui & Partners community arts co-ordinator Anique Jayasinghe said.
She is also the chairwoman of Whanganui's Public Art Steering Group, which, since 2018, has had a public art fund of $30,000 a year from Whanganui District Council.
The money goes fast, Jayasinghe said. There are two application rounds a year, but it can be used up in the first one.
The steering group has existed since 2010 and has about 11 people, including artists, gallery owners and "all the stuff you don't think about with public art".
"It's more about quality, materials, concept and that it's representative of Whanganui, that it fits the landscape and the site that it's on," Jayasinghe said.
Bell's glass panels will be installed on two bus shelters in Taupo Quay, used by InterCity passengers.
They are to have hare and tortoise panels - from the Aesop fable about the tortoise and the hare.
The glass engraver moved to Whanganui in 2017 and also engraved the panels on the Rangiora St bus shelter.
The panels will be opened at 23 Taupo Quay at 2pm on June 12.
On the following Monday at 10am, Brydee Rood's A Future Canopy living sculpture is to be opened in Burton Ave.
Her sculpture is the miro, puriri, kowhai, rata, rewarewa and totara trees planted there to replace them and to add biodiversity in that part of Whanganui East.
It's the first public artwork outside the town centre, and the first involving trees. It will be a great start towards focusing on the suburbs, Jayasinghe said.
There will be four schools involved, three from Whanganui East and Cullinane College. Each will plant a tree and the planting will be blessed by kaumātua John Maihi.
Rood studied art at Elam in Auckland and a lot of her work is themed around the environment, consumption and waste.
By the end of August, New Plymouth artist Shannon Novak's colourful vinyl work will be on show in the shop window of an empty building on the corner of Victoria Ave and Guyton St.
The work will showcase the LGBTQ+ community and liven up the empty shop. Novak has been working with Whanganui organisations to make them safe for LGBTQ+ people.
Funding for his work is from Whanganui District Council's community initiatives fund.
Early next year, Te Taurawhiri a Hinengakau will go up in Victoria Ave. It is the creation of Nadia Tamihana, Nathanael Scurr and Sacha Keating, inspired by their Tūpoho and Tamaupoko connections to the Whanganui River.
Te Taurawhiri a Hinengakau will be both a visual and an auditory work. It will consist of two arches that span a corridor to a Victoria Ave car park.
They will probably be lit and glow at night, with patterns and symbols relevant to Tūpoho and Tamaupoko, and there will be a soundscape attached. This work is partly funded by the Town Centre Regeneration Project.
"It will be an experience of public art rather than just something static," Jayasinghe said.