CHRISTMAS CHEER: Celebrating the success of Christmas Art in the Heart are (from left) Sprung artist Zac Mifsud, LightnUp artistic director Jyllie Jackson, Lismore City Council economic development manager Tina Irish, Christmas Art in the Heart project manager Sunita Bala and Sprung artist Katie Cooper-Wares.
CHRISTMAS CHEER: Celebrating the success of Christmas Art in the Heart are (from left) Sprung artist Zac Mifsud, LightnUp artistic director Jyllie Jackson, Lismore City Council economic development manager Tina Irish, Christmas Art in the Heart project manager Sunita Bala and Sprung artist Katie Cooper-Wares. Contributed

Christmas art program has bright future

In an exciting project that activated the Lismore CBD during the holiday season, Lismore City Council partnered with RealArtworks and Creative Lismore to enhance vacant shopfronts in the CBD and bring them to life.

The Christmas Art in the Heart project provided emerging and professional artists with a platform to showcase their art through installations, projections and window graphics.

Residents and visitors were bombarded with art in the CBD, from life-sized cut-outs of dancers from Sprung frolicking in a summer Christmas installation to a community mural engaging pedestrians in Magellan Street and an Australian bush scene made with LightnUp lanterns.

The project attracted considerable interest outside of the Far North Coast with Accessible Arts viewing some of the art installations during a recent trip to Lismore. They are now keen to duplicate the project in other regional cities.

"We are pleased that the feedback from Lismore CBD patrons and businesses has been really positive," Sunita Bala from RealArtworks said.

"The CBD is a great place to work, socialise and relax. Working with empty shop spaces has seen some of these spaces now being commercially tenanted and that's a win for everyone!"

The Art in the Heart concept also provides emerging and professional creatives with an opportunity to raise their profile and secure more opportunities to work with local businesses.

The project has continued to evolve with local businesses now keen to support a CBD empty shop installation for the Lismore Lantern Parade in June.

Local businesses have also pledged support for RealArtworks' next creative endeavour, The (Un)usual, which is a Regional Arts NSW-funded trail of interactive art, live performance and installations linking The Quad through the CBD to the river.