I’ve been involved in preparing for the Sweet Streets festival for over a year. There is still a lot to do and I’m very tired, so I’ll keep this brief.
The opening Sweet Streets Award Exhibition at 1000 Pound Bend kicked off the festival. The Melbourne Festival was also opening that night and the Melbourne Fringe Festival is still going and even though Sweet Streets was competing with a two larger festival for the attention of Melbourne’s public 1000 Pound Bend was packed with hundreds of people.
I had been around the award exhibition earlier in the afternoon with Fletch who writes the blog Invurt. It was the first time that I’d met Fletch, although we had exchanged emails before. We were both amazed at how affordable the prices were with very few works over $1,000. Expanding the festival to more than just stencils appeared to be a good move; the exhibition had a lot more variety with sculpture, illustrations, painting, soft toys and yarn bombing. Although without as many stencils there were only a few works with political messages.
The judges for the award show were: Alex McCulloch (Metro Gallery), Din Heagney (editor Un-Magazine and the Art pimp) and Luke Matthews (director/founder of Gorker Gallery). Din Heagney announced the winners: Highly commended (with a $300 cash prize) were Junky Projects, Ben Ashton-Bell, Jonathon Fischer and John Koleszar. The winner of the $1000 Sweet Streets Award Exhibition prize was Jussi TwoSeven for “Go East” a work of spray paint stencil on stickers, incorporating two forms of street art in one piece. Congratulations to the winners. The prizes are not a lot of money compared to many other Australian art prizes but the Sweet Streets festival did not have any sponsors providing cash for these prizes.
It was good start to the festival – another 15 days of exhibitions, workshops, films and other events to go.