Following the 5 week Artist Expression of Interest period, 79 artist submissions were received for consideration for one of the seven artwork opportunities available:

  • 3 opportunities @ $190,000 each
  • 4 opportunities @ $80,000 each
  • 1 trail long artwork opportunity of approximately 20-25 small interrelated pieces @ $50,000

A selection panel evaluated each of the 79 submissions and following the process, 22 artists have been invited to develop an artistic concept, each for a specific opportunity.

The project team is currently working on finalising the art location sites for the 7 larger artworks, informed by feedback received from community and the objectives of the grant funding.

The Great Victorian Rail Trail (GVRT) is a 134km multi-use trail that can be experienced on foot, bike or horse. The trail follows the old railway line from Tallarook to Mansfield with a spur line to Alexandra, crossing the three municipalities of Mitchell, Murrindindi and Mansfield. This easily accessible, varied and unique trail offers close proximity to the regions natural attractions including beautiful rivers, majestic valleys, lakes and mountains.

The Victorian Government’s Regional Tourism Investment Fund awarded $1.2 million to Mitchell, Murrindindi and Mansfield Shire Councils for the GVRT Art Installation Project. The project will improve the GVRT experience by creating innovative and impactful art installations along the trail. The project aims to increase the number of people who use the trail and attract new visitor markets to the trail and surrounding towns.

The art installations provide a fantastic opportunity for the GVRT to become a premium tourism attraction and recreational space for the region, creating both economic and social benefit for our communities.

During November and December 2021, we asked our local communities and visitors to the region to help inform the direction of The Great ARTdoors Project by providing feedback on the artistic direction and preferred locations for artwork placement.

Over 400 community members provided feedback on the Project from across Murrindindi, Mitchell and Mansfield Shires and your input and ideas have helped to inform the artistic direction of the project, ‘Connections’ and provided valuable insights into potential art installation locations and key considerations for art placement.

As part of the community engagement process we also sought interest from community members to participate in a Community Reference Group to provide community advice and feedback as the project progresses. The newly formed group met in January to provide input on the artistic direction of the project and in February to provide input on potential art installation locations.

The partner Councils would like to acknowledge everyone who took the time to share their ideas and opinions with us. Whether you stopped by for a chat at one of our pop-up kiosks, completed a survey or dropped a pin on the interactive map, we really value your input!

You can find an overview of the findings of the community engagement process in Findings Report here. This report provides a summary of the themes and feedback shared by community members for consideration in the development of the project. Further information about how the partner Councils engaged with community and the demographics of participants can be found in the Community Engagement Report, available here.
We have now reached the next stage of the project. The artist expression of interest phase is now open until March 28 for artists interested in participating in the project. Shortlisted artists from the process will be invited to the concept development phase in late April with successful artists to be appointed by July 2022. The artists will then begin to manufacture and install their work with all works to be completed by April 2023.

  • Can’t find an answer to a question you have about the Art Installations Project in the FAQ section? Ask it here and we will do our best to provide an answer

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Great Victorian Rail Trail is a 134km multi-use trail that can be experienced on foot, bike or horse. The trail follows the old railway line from Tallarook to Mansfield with a spur line to Alexandra, crossing the three municipalities of Mitchell, Murrindindi and Mansfield. This easily accessible, varied and unique trail offers close proximity to the regions natural attractions including, beautiful rivers, majestic valleys, lakes and mountains. You can find out more about the GVRT at www.greatvictorianrailtrail.com.au

Mitchell, Murrindindi and Mansfield Shire Councils have received funding from the Victorian Government to deliver the Great Victorian Rail Trail Art Installations and Signage Project. This project aims to improve the rail trail experience by implementing innovative and impactful art installations along the trail to attract visitors to the trail and surrounding towns within the region.  

The project is looking to enhance the current GVRT experience for community and visitors alike. By installing impactful art installations at different points along the trail, the project aims to increase visitation, resulting in economic benefit for the region.

The Victorian Government’s Regional Tourism Investment Fund has awarded $1.2 million dollars to Mitchell, Murrindindi and Mansfield Shire Councils, for the completion of the Great Victorian Rail Trail Art Installations and Signage Project.

The project commenced in June 2021 and will be completed in April 2023.

Artists will be chosen through a two stage selection process. Artists were invited to submit an Expression of Interest and to demonstrate their availability, capacity and interest in undertaking the work outlined in the artist brief in the first stage. A selection panel has subsequently shortlisted suitable artists who have been invited to develop a design concept proposal via the Concept Development phase. The selection panel will then assess the concept proposals and selected artists will be appointed.

-There are 8 planned installations, 3 x $190,000 installations, 4 x $80,000 installations and 1 trail long series of 20-25 smaller interrelated works by a single artist at $50,000.

As part of the community engagement period the project called for community members to submit an Expression of Interest to form a CRG. The CRG has now been finalised and has met on several occasions to provide input and feedback on the project on topics including the curatorial direction of the project, potential art installation locations and consideration during the artist EOI phase.

If you have a question that is not listed in the FAQs or you would like to chat about the project in more detail, please get in touch with your relevant Council. Contact details are provided below.

Mitchell Shire Council
James Bone - Economic Development Project Engagement Officer
James.Bone@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au
(03) 5734 6422

Murrindindi Shire Council
Matt Thomas - Manager Tourism and Events
(03) 5772 0333
mthomas@murrindindi.vic.gov.au

Mansfield Shire Council
Saskia Van Bever - Senior Coordinator Community and Economic Development
(03) 5775 8534
saskia.vanbever@mansfield.vic.gov.au


The partner Councils have collated community feedback on potential locations for artworks and are currently working with the project’s Community Reference Group to shortlist suitable locations. Locations should be finalised by June.

Stage One

We are keen to seek input from our communities and visitors to the region to help inform the direction of project, including input on:

  • What influences, ideas and concepts you would like to see the art installations represent.
  • Where would you like to see art installations placed along the trail to encourage greater usage.

In addition, we are keen to hear from community members who are interested in being part of a Community Reference Group to support the artist expression of interest process.

How to get involved

Stage 1 feedback closed in December 2022.
There are a number of ways you can get involved in the project:

  • Pin your preferred art installations on the Art Location Feedback Map
  • Provide input on the artistic direction of the project via the Art Direction Survey
  • Register your interest to be part of Community Reference Group
  • Attend one of our pop up kiosk , or online events.

Stage Two

The Artist Expression of Interest phase of the Great ARTdoors Project

We are seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) submissions from artists, designers and other creative practitioners who wish to be considered for artwork commissions. Artists or artist collectives from throughout Australia are able to submit an EOI.

We are interested in commissioning engaging and high impact permanent artworks that respond to the Curatorial Direction outlined, and to the specific sites chosen.

Seven artwork opportunities are available:

  • 3 opportunities @ $190,000 each
  • 4 opportunities @ $80,000 each
  • 1 trail long artwork opportunity of approximately 20-25 small interrelated pieces @ $50,000

The Curatorial Direction for the Art Installation Project is 'Connections'. It is designed to provide a conceptual thematic link between the potentially disparate artworks to be located along the GVRT. Artists should consider how their proposed artwork might explore or respond to the idea of 'Connections' in their EOI submission.

The EOI process closes on 28 March and following this submissions will be considered by the selection panel and assessed against evaluation criteria outlined in the EOI. A number of artists will then be shortlisted to progress to concept development for selected sites.

For full details of the EOI or to make a submission please visit - www.eprocure.com.au/murrindindi

Thank you to those community members who participated in Stage 1

During the community engagement period between 8 November and 12 December we sought input from community and stakeholders on:

  • Preferred locations for art installations
  • The artistic direction of the project
  • Whether they would like to be part of the project’s Community Reference Group

We are currently reviewing the information and feedback received and will provide an update on the project in early 2022.

In February 2022, we will open up the expressions of interest process and invite artists to tender. Successful artists will be appointed in July 2022, with the installations to be created and installed by April 2023.

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