When you think of the typical activities of a brewery or alcohol company, investing in art, culture and sustainability probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But that’s exactly what Stone & Wood are doing with their latest initiative; The Byron Bay Bike Rack Project.
The innovative design competition calls upon the local creative community to design bike racks — that are both practical and reflective of the areas thriving artistic scene —to be installed around Byron Shire. The best part? The winning entrant will be funded $20,000 to bring their ideas to life — providing a much needed injection into the public art sphere in a regional location.
Launched in partnership with the Byron Shire Council, this project presents a truly unique opportunity to local creatives, artists, designers, crafts-people and, well, anyone who rides a bike.
Sarah Blomkamp from Stone & Wood says community endeavours like this have always been the heart of the business: " When we first started our brewery just shy of ten years ago we set out to be a village brewery and continue to always have the community in mind. When we refer to our community the arts play a major part of who we are."
But what really sets this project apart is ethos behind it. This community initiative aims not only to celebrate local design and art, but also, to champion sustainability by encouraging Byron locals and visitors to ride, rather than drive.
In this sense, this project will create a set of highly functional, public art installations that will also have a positive impact on the environment. Sarah says that this was definitely a goal of the project from the beginning, "The backbone of this campaign is to encourage the town of Byron to ride rather than drive. There are so many benefits to the people, the environment and the town if more of us make the switch. We also really hope to excite the arts community by attracting them to enter their sculptural designs."
This is not the first time Stone & Wood has supported the arts having supported projects such as Popped Creative, Elysium Project, Byron School of Art and Murwillumbah Art Trail. Sarah says Stone & Wood's investment in community projects is an ethos she hopes other businesses will adopt: "I think businesses should have a focus, other than profit, that has a positive impact on their consumers, their community and the environment. What a business should invest in should depend on what the people in that business feel passionate about.
"If collectively the entire business, including the employees, suppliers, consumers and various stakeholders align and collaboratively work toward making an impact in their chosen field it will most likely be a success."
Entrants to the Byron Bike rack Porject are required to submit three to seven designs for installation, these can be site specific or the same, at selected sites throughout the Byron CBD. Designers will progress through two stages, before a winning entrant is chosen.
The first stage is an online submission providing concept designs and general information about the artwork, and the second stage is for shortlisted applicants who will be required to present a more detailed proposal to both Byron Shire Council, and a set of selected judges.
So if you’re feeling creative and want to take part, entries are now open and close on Monday 22 January 2018. So get designing!