Opinion

Art talks prove promising

by
January 08, 2018

Greater Shepparton City Council last year forged ahead with a program to connect the CBD with the soon-to-be new SAM at Victoria Park Lake with street art sites commemorating influential indigenous figures from the region and documenting key historic events.

Shepparton is well on its way to improving the amount of street art in its CBD.

Greater Shepparton City Council last year forged ahead with a program to connect the CBD with the soon-to-be new SAM at Victoria Park Lake with street art sites commemorating influential indigenous figures from the region and documenting key historic events.

The first impressive addition to this sits proudly on a wall adjacent to Goulburn Valley Water’s Fryers St offices, with the second, commemorating two iconic indigenous women from the region, set to begin next month.

Local artist Tank is to be commended for pushing the conversation about street art options in Shepparton further still.

He has dreamed up options.

They are ideas, or concepts, not final designs for consideration or to be proposed to stakeholders, yet.

Instead, they are conversation starters. They constitute the beginning of a discussion about what residents in Greater Shepparton would like to see to brighten up the CBD.

In particular, in ‘‘unused and ugly’’ locations where little is on offer in the way of visual appeal currently.

The beginning of this conversation is promising in that it appears set to be a consultative one.

One that gathers support, and perhaps funding, organically, before being proposed to the council and others who can help make it a reality.

The tourism potential for street art is beyond question.

But as both Greater Shepparton City Council and Tank have stressed, diversifying the offerings locally from those in other regional areas is important.

Benalla has seen great success from its excellent Wall to Wall festival, and proven the tourism weight larger than life murals can possess in putting regional places on the map.

But broadening the local offering is important, and a valuable opportunity to also achieve the goal of recognising key figures..

Ensuring the project doubles as a valuable way to celebrate influential indigenous contributions to the region and the broader nation presents a welcome direction.

Let’s hope the council, those in charge of public space in Shepparton’s CBD and those with the capacity to help fund and greenlight such projects share Tank’s enthusiasm for continuing the push for street art around the city.

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