Shaun Hossack has big plans for Benalla.
The creative director behind the Wall to Wall Festival adds more to the attraction each year, and he wants 2018’s event to take it to the next level.
“For the last couple years the artworks have always been well-curated, but it was great to integrate that this year with a festival atmosphere,” he said.
“We had full stages, events at the skate-park with hundreds of people there all day – the whole town came alive.
“We tried to bring a bit of night life into it and thanks to the team behind with the Tanglewood Music Festival, murals were lit at night for the first time.”
Hossack, of Melbourne studio Juddy Roller, wants to start turning the event into a multi-disciplinary art festival – starting with the fourth Wall to Wall.
“There’s a lot of ideas to come and we’re really looking forward to 2018,” he said.
“We’d like to have interactive artwork and things like projections.
“This was a coming-of-age festival; the first two were about finding our feet and this one really nailed it.”
Over Friday to Sunday, 27 international and Australian street artists took to the walls of the town.
The artists also branched out onto the streets this year – flooding social media with optical illusions.
Melbourne artist Matt Adnate even took to the Uniting Church, drawing crowds out to Goorambat to find the stunning piece.
It was Zest Events artist Anton Pulvirenti’s first time at the event, creating a piece reflecting on his heritage.
“I’ve got a personal history; my family came here about 100 years ago from Sicily and my grandfather was kept in a camp during World War II,” he said.
“The piece crossed over with Benalla’s history – I met people whose parents had come out from Germany or other countries.”
The Sydney artist’s debut at Wall to Wall was also his first try at street art of this size.
“Benalla is a small town, but there’s so much art in it,” he said.
“It’s unique in that respect that no other city in the Australia does this to the same extent.”
Wall to Wall’s reputation as one of the best and biggest street art festivals in the country will only grow, if Hossack’s vision goes to plan.
“The funding is integral to keep it going and make it bigger and better,” he said.
“We run the festival on a shoe-string budget and we’d like to see some of the volunteers get paid.
“It’s going to be really important for us to be knocking on the politicians’ doors.
“I think we’ve demonstrated the positive outcomes – it’s an incredible atmosphere taking over the entire town.”
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