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5 October 2017

The first Art Tram for 2017 has hit the road, with another seven set to roll out onto the network in the coming weeks.

Bushra Hasan's Melbourne Art Tram

Bushra Hasan's Melbourne Art Tram

Victorian artist and graphic designer Bushra Hasan today to launched the first Art Tram – a collaboration between tram loving locals in Melbourne and Kolkata, India.

Inspired by Indian street and tribal art, Bushra Hasan’s tram design celebrates the Tramjatra project - a collaboration that has seen artists and community members designing trams in both cities.

The other trams set to bring colour and creativity to Melbourne’s daily commute have been designed by artists including Robert Owen - whose tram pays homage to Melbourne’s jazz history - Warrnambool-based Matthew Clarke and students and parents from St Albans Heights Primary School and Community Hub.

Now in its fifth year, the annual Melbourne Art Trams project invites Victorian artists and community groups to submit designs that will transform trams into mobile artworks. The trams form part of Melbourne Festival’s visual arts program and will stay on the tracks until April 2018.

Once this year’s trams have hit the tracks, voting will open for the $5,000 People’s Choice Award which will be awarded at the end of the Melbourne Festival.

The idea behind the Melbourne Art Trams project dates back to the ‘Transporting Art’ scheme in the 1970s, which saw the Victorian Government commission artists such as Mirka Mora, Howard Arkley and Michael Leunig to paint Melbourne trams.

Read about the history of the Melbourne Art Trams

While the latest iteration sees artwork transferred onto vinyl and ‘wrapped’ around the trams, the spirit of the project - which seeks to celebrate Melbourne’s trams and bring contemporary art to a mass audience – remains.

A Victorian Government initiative, the Melbourne Art Trams project is a collaboration between Creative Victoria, Public Transport Victoria and Melbourne Festival with Yarra Trams.

The Melbourne Festival is one of Australia’s leading arts festivals, presenting local and international art, dance, theatre, music and multimedia events all across the city from 4-22 October.

Visit Melbourne Festival for details about this year’s Art Trams and the Festival program