A world of talent in contention

STREET art is about to make a bigger mark in Launceston.

The Launceston City Council announced its Off the Wall street art finalists yesterday after the competition attracted 90 entries from 40 artists around the world.

The 10 finalists come from as far as Hong Kong, Amsterdam and South Korea and will exhibit their work at Launceston's Sawtooth artist-run-initiative gallery in March.

Each artist will be given a section of wall in the gallery to illustrate with one rule: the walls go back to gallery white at close of business.

Each work will be judged by the committee, which comprises Glover Prize finalists Jamin and Ben Miller, Hobart street artist Nathan Gelston and artist and curator Fernando do Campo.

The winner will receive $2000 and  mentorship  from Jamin, and will be allocated money and a space in Launceston's CBD to permanently install their work.

QR codes will be scattered throughout the city which will take people to an online gallery of the other finalists' exhibited work.

Sawtooth gallery director Marisa Molin said the project would enrich the city.

``It's a beautiful way to showcase the fact that street art isn't just illegal graffiti, it can bring a space alive,'' said Molin, who is also a judge.

Launceston City Council youth officer Wendy Newton said traffic generated to the council website because of the competition and the number of international artists who had entered the competition proved that   street art was a growing trend.

``Lonely Planet lists Melbourne's laneways as one of its top attractions and that's because of the street art,'' Ms Newton said.

An installation area for the winner is still to be decided.


  Launceston graphic designer and artist Louise Thrush.

 Self-taught Devonport artist Brain Foetus.

 Nokay. Installation artists from Hong Kong who have been students at the University of Tasmania in  Launceston.

 Polish self-taught stencil artist who lives in Amsterdam, Anopsy.

 Ballarat artist Ashley Nicholls.

 Canadian artist Bromunkey who now lives in Tasmania.

 D.A.P, an Italian artist who has worked on murals across Europe.

 GCMA, a Launceston artist who works with recycled materials.

 French designer for graphic movies Jean Laine, who now lives in Launceston.

 Canadian installation artist, now based in South Korea, Jesse Olwen.

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