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Pot plant pizazz on hold as councillors seek costings

July 4, 2023

The large pots on Lords Place. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

By David Fitzsimons

Pot plant artwork designed by school children was unsuitable for Lords Place, an Orange councillor has claimed at Tuesday night's meeting.

Councillor Tony Mileto opposed a plan by fellow councillor Melanie McDonell to invite Orange primary school children to design artwork for about 20 large planter pots, which are part of the controversial redesign of the CBD street.

He said the current design had been created by professional consultants and a master plan had gone out for community input.

“I’m not aware of any feedback that would support this type of artwork,” he said.

“I don’t believe this type of artwork would enhance the aesthetics of the area, which does include historical buildings. I think that more appropriately the adventure children’s playground would be a more suitable location to have this type of artwork displayed.”

McDonell said the pot plans lacked “pizazz” and asked council on Tuesday night to support her plan for a design challenge where children created art that could be vinyl-wrapped around the pots.

The Orange News Examiner asked its art department to come up with a mock design of how a planter pot might look. This is the best they came up with in the limited time available.

Councillor Frances Kinghorne said she liked the idea but was concerned how it would look.

“There are only two pots sitting on the kerb. The rest of them are sitting on the painted bits,” she said. “So, we’ve got this sort of psychedelic hippy aesthetic there.

“If we started putting other things there on those pots then is that going to be confusing, is that going to detract from what’s on the pots?”

Lords Place businesses should be consulted about any further change to the street, said councillor Jeff Whitton.

Councillor David Mallard backed the plan, arguing the street project would promote community involvement.

“If kids could go down there to see something that they’ve been involved in creating then I think that would help create a really great connection between our community and the city that we’re inhabiting,” he said.

Councillor Jack Evans suggested the artworks could be replaced every year, which would boost the “long-term potential” of the project.

Councillor Glenn Floyd said he was excited about what the school children could design.

“I’m really looking forward to the primary school kids coming up with something that will be able to be integrated into that area and not look like an eyesore,” he said.

Council deferred a decision until the cost of the design challenge and the work was known.

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