9 February 2024
Stanthorpe’s vibrant art scene and strong community spirit will once again shine in an exciting new phase of the Stanthorpe Streetscape Project when handcrafted ceramic tiles and wooden benches made by local high school students are installed as part of ongoing CBD beautification and safety works by Southern Downs Regional Council.
While the new locally crafted fixtures will add to the rich artistic history of the town’s streetscape, important road safety upgrades are included in the project’s scope, with a new pedestrian crossing and disabled parking on High Street.
Acting Chief Executive Officer Leon Love said the Stanthorpe Streetscape Project had been a labour of love that, through its various phases, has continually inspired community connection.
“Stanthorpe’s main street and CBD is much like an outdoor art gallery, dotted with captivating and quirky street art for locals and visitors to admire,” Mr Love said.
“Each layer of the streetscape project is designed to contribute to the amenity and liveability of the main street to support local business, improve pedestrian access and beautify the area.
“Led by community vision, this next stage of the project will underpin the unique character of the town by adding more outdoor seating shaded by mature trees, providing safer pedestrian access to the main street, and emboldening the art and heritage interpretations to keep the town’s history alive.
“Council has collaborated with the next generation of young, passionate local artisans from St Joseph’s School and Stanthorpe State High School to create unique works of functional art that reflect the diverse culture, rich heritage and charming character of Stanthorpe.
“The new art on High Street will also feature within Artistic Stanthorpe Walking Trail on the official Southern Downs & Granite Belt Visitor App. Visitors can download the free app to take the self-guided walk through the Stanthorpe CBD with stops and stories at every artistic installation detailing the history and origin of each piece.”
Year 9 and 10 art students from Stanthorpe State High School worked with local artist Maggie Brockie to curate 16 handmade tiles and granite mosaics inspired by The Stanthorpe Nine, a group of highly endangered floral species endemic to the Granite Belt.
Ms Brockie said: “This project has been extremely rewarding. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the students and I feel I have learnt more from them than they could possibly learn from me.”
Adding to the outdoor gallery, students from Stanthorpe State High School and St Joseph’s School designed and fabricated benches and chairs for the public space.
Jonathon Bushby from Stanthorpe State High School said the students were well briefed by Council and enjoyed the challenges of the task.
“Students worked through the design brief outlined by Council and considered safety, longevity, maintenance, aesthetics and ergonomic design factors before settling on the final custom design,” Mr Bushby said.
“This project has been a great opportunity for Stanthorpe State High School to partner with Council in delivering a community project that leaves a lasting legacy and proudly reminds us about what we value about living in Stanthorpe.”
The first bench seat has been completed and the finishing touches are being finalised on another two.
Previous Stanthorpe Streetscape projects through the 2015 masterplan have included improving the character and vibrancy of Fromes Lane and the creation of Doug Smith Carpark on Rogers Street to increase the CBD’s parking capacity.
Fromes Lane has become quite the showcase with beautification works transforming the existing laneway between shopfronts with a vine covered arbour, coloured asphalt to style the walkway, timber seating, murals and sensitive lighting with an objective to entice people to utilise the Doug Smith Carpark before enjoying a short, easy stroll to main street shopping, services and facilities.
Works on Rogers Street transformed the vacant brownfield site into a sealed and illuminated asphalt carpark with linked walkways, deciduous shade trees, perimeter gardens, mural and sculpture, all with the goal of attracting long term parking.