Melbourne is a city full of art. Students and faculty who are part of the WMU-Cooley Law program down under have been treated to a profusion of the arts. Everything from a cutting-edge Ai Wei Wei/Andy Warhol exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria to street art, which is everywhere!
Walking around the lanes of Melbourne, you are surrounded by amazing street paintings! It can take hours to walk just in the center part of the city to see all of the murals, mosaics and sculptures. Aussie museums are full of Australian art – much of it painted by Koorie, or Aboriginal, peoples. The museums are full of old, traditional carvings, dot paintings, and paintings on bark; Victorian paintings that reflect the Continental styles of the day, and modern and contemporary pieces.
The city is also full of musicians, poets, comedy and performance arts. Each of the numerous street festivals, fairs, and markets are replete with the sounds of jazz and singing. While we’ve been here, Melbourne has been host to an International Flower Show, the White Night creative arts festival, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the Moombah Festival, and the Melbourne International Comedy festival.
As some of us have traveled to other parts of Australia, we’ve seen art in Tasmania at such cutting-edge venues as MONA, a private art museum built into a cliff outside of Hobart and the Salamanca Arts district; a marvelous art museum in Adelaide, and sculptures everywhere!
The creative energy in Melbourne and elsewhere in Australia is one of the reasons Melbourne is consistently rated one of the world’s top liveable cities! WMU-Cooley students and faculty are lucky indeed to live in such a place!
WMU-Cooley Law School Professor Kimberly E. O’Leary is directing the law school’s foreign study program in New Zealand and Australia. She and her students are sharing their experiences throughout the Hilary 2016 semester.