We acknowledge the traditional owners and sovereign custodians of the land on which Collingwood Yards is situated, the Wurundjeri people of the Woiwurrung language group. We extend our respect to their Ancestors and all First Peoples and Elders past, present, and future.

Collingwood Yards to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Keith Haring Mural
Keith Haring 40th Anniversary

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Collingwood Yards is pleased to acknowledge and commemorate the 40th anniversary of American artist Keith Haring painting his iconic mural on an exterior wall of a school building in Collingwood.  The mural has become an important feature of the cultural heritage of Collingwood and the broader arts community.

Keith Haring, one of the most influential artists of the late 20th century, painted the mural in March 1984 during a visit to Australia.  The distinctive artwork has been visible from Johnston Street, Collingwood, ever since.   The mural was added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 2004.   Restoration and conservation work was undertaken in 2013 with financial support from the Victorian Government.    

Miriam Silva, Chair of Contemporary Arts Precincts, said:

“Keith Haring’s art continues to inspire people to come together in pursuit of a harmonious community and ignite conversations about the role of art in our contemporary society. The mural is a much-loved and distinctive landmark in Collingwood”.

From its humble beginnings on a wall at Collingwood Technical School – the buildings of which have become Collingwood Yards, a thriving arts precinct – the Keith Haring mural has mirrored the evolution of Collingwood itself – a tale of resilience, reinvention and artistic innovation. The Keith Haring mural at Collingwood Yards stands a testament to the enduring power and value of publicly available street art. 

Keith Haring wrote:

“I am interested in making art to be experienced and explored by as many individuals as possible with as many individual ideas about the given piece with no final meaning attached. The viewer creates the reality, the meaning, the conception of the piece.  I am merely the middleman, trying to bring ideas together.”  (Keith Haring Journals (1996)

Collingwood Yards, as the custodians of this important piece of public art, is planning a number of events to mark the 40th anniversary during 2024  to explore and discuss current issues in public art.    

Michael McMahon, a Board Director of Contemporary Arts Precincts said: 

“Collingwood Yards is honoured to be part of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the painting of the Keith Haring mural on its premises.  This mural holds a special place in the hearts of the Collingwood community, serving as a testament to the power of public art to inspire and educate. Collingwood Yards seeks to ensure that the Keith Haring mural is preserved to honour the legacy of Keith Haring and enrich the vibrant spirit of Collingwood”

Keith Haring died of HIV Aids in 1990.  He was 31 years old. 

The 40th year anniversary will also serve as an opportunity to launch a series of fundraising initiatives aimed at supporting future art-related projects and ensuring the preservation of the Keith Haring mural for generations to come.

Look out for an exciting year ahead at Collingwood Yards and where we come together to enhance art and creativity in our community.

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