Art for the community

The PoP Art (Paint our Poles Art) project joins young people with local artists to paint designs inspired by their creative vision of our community on power poles all around Bellingen.

Artists mentoring youth

Each painting is unique and a collaboration between the young people and artists.

The project has had input from the whole community, including schools and local arts groups, to build stronger creative community relationships.

“The idea of local artists collaborating together, guiding the process as well as mentoring youth is tremendously exciting and we hope it will inspire, educate and really give the community some quality works to enjoy”.
Grace Menzies, PoP Co-ordinator

Pilot Pole

In November 2017, the first group of young artists were mentored by local artist, Lunci, of local art organisation Big Fig Arts, to design and paint an artwork on a power pole in Church Street in Bellingen.

The artwork is of a song about growing up in Bellingen, with lyrics by Gemma McAulay, and score by Rosabella Stephen. The artwork can be found on the pole in front of the toilet block next to the Bellingen Ambulance Station.

This design was intended as a ‘pilot pole’ to see whether the community supported a project to paint most of the power poles in the main area of town.

Community support

After an online survey, 94% of the community who responded supported the idea of art on local power poles.
More community art projects please! I believe if done properly it will bring the community together, reflect personality in our beautiful town and bring pride in our creative place … we are not an extension of the city, we are a unique town with many different facets.”
Community member in online survey

As a result of the survey Bellingen Shire Council, and Essential Energy, who own all the power poles in Bellingen, have given permission for forty poles to be painted.

Art workshops

In August 2018, local artists led a series of youth art workshops at the Hub. A group of young people joined in a bunch of different activities designed to awaken their inner artist within and start thinking creatively.

The young people worked on their own or collaborated with others to create street art that represented who they are and what our Bellingen community means to them.

Also at the workshops, local Aboriginal cultural leader Micklo Jarrett shared Gumbaynggirr dreamtime stories and taught about local totem animals. From this were inspired artworks featuring the Gumbaynggirr land of the Bellingen community.

Painting the town

All kinds of amazing new designs have come from different young artists and are ready to be approved by Council and Essential Energy.

The next step will be for young artists to paint their approved designs on poles around town.

Media Coverage

Nambucca Guardian ‘Paint our Poles (PoP) Art Project to go ahead’

Bellingen Courier Sun ‘Artistry Pops up on Poles’

Keep up to date

To keep up to date on upcoming workshops and new artworks, follow the Hub Events page, follow the Hub Facebook page or keep in touch with Grace at the Hub on 66550381 or email

Project support

The PoP Art Project was started by the Bellingen Mentor Group, but is at heart a Bellingen community collaboration.

The core group includes passionate people from the Bellingen Youth HUB, Bellingen High School, Bellingen Primary School, Arts Network Bellingen and various other community groups

The PoP Art project is supported by Bellingen Shire Council’s Creative Placemaking Initiative and Essential Energy.

Want to support the PoP Art project?

Talk to our team about making a financial contribution to support upcoming painting sessions, including funds for art supplies and food. We are also open to in-kind donations of quality art materials.

Learn more