Art commission opens for new Chilwell Library

June 20, 2022 BY

The current facade of the Chilwell Library with Sladen Park in the background. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

UP-AND-COMING artists and creative teams will have the chance to have their work on display at the redeveloped Chilwell Library.

The City of Greater Geelong is accepting submissions for a Chilwell Library Public Art Commission that will complement the unique qualities of the Newtown-based site.

“Public art plays a key role in contributing to public spaces, reflecting local stories and being an expression of community pride,” Brownbill Ward councillor Peter Murrihy said. “Our aim is for this public art commission to contribute to the successful redevelopment of the Chilwell Library by bringing Geelong’s unique arts, culture and heritage into the lives of library users and passers-by.”

The city also released a set of criteria that submissions should cater to, with added emphasis on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to submit proposals to the $25,000 commission.

Submission hints include referencing the Barwon River’s traditional name “Parwon”, the Wadawurrung word for magpie, as well as Newtown and Chilwell’s rich industrial and residential history in industries such as tanneries, wool scours, and soap works.


New renders released by the city of the library’s new facade on 51 Russell Street. GRAPHIC: SUPPLIED


Submissions may be for stand-alone 3D works, works integrated within the new library, designs and materials or a combination of both.

Member of the Chilwell Library Group, Lynne Dowling, said the group is excited to see the timeline on the redevelopment moving forward after starting the campaign to save the library back in 2017.

“We’re very pleased to see the development moving forward,” Ms Dowling said.

“In all honesty, we’re just pleased to see the library still there, because clearly, it’s important as the only free community space/hub in the Newtown and Chilwell area.

“We’re looking forward to all aspects of the library’s design coming to life.”

Expressions of interest close Monday, June 27, with the successful commission applicant to be announced on Friday, September 2.

Shortlisted artists will be selected and notified on July 15 with individual site visits to be conducted in the month to follow.

Submissions can be made at [email protected]