Street art feel-good factor

January 12, 2018

Deputy Mayor Seema Abdullah took part in a Stewart St art installation as part of a community leadership program.

Artist's impressions put together by Tank, of what key Shepparton sites could look like.

Shepparton’s Stewart St may well become Stew-Art street, if the city’s deputy mayor gets her wish.

Cr Seema Abdullah said there was potential for street art to line either side of the uncelebrated street in the central business district and build it up to be a street art thoroughfare.

She admired Shepparton artist Tank’s initiative for pushing conversation about mural possibilities forward by recently circulating artists’ impressions of CBD sites emblazoned with street art designs.

Having been involved with a Stewart St mural project, also involving Tank, prior to being elected to council, Cr Abdullah said discussions had then begun on the possibility of turning the precinct into something of a gallery.

‘‘We started talking, and said wouldn’t it be nice if the whole of Stewart St became street art, like Melbourne laneways,’’ she said.

‘‘That Stewart St can become one sort of focus, where people can find good murals and street art.

‘‘I’m very excited about that ... it’s something really close to my heart.’’

Cr Abdullah emphasised the importance of spreading colour through the CBD.

‘‘We want to remove the bits of dullness in parts of the town, Shepparton needs more places that are attractive,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s going to provide that incentive and feel-good factor to the whole town.’’

She said commissioning more street art through the CBD — whether murals, sculptures, ‘‘all those things, anything that makes it attractive’’ — was something she would support.

But she said Tank’s designs were a good starting point.

She asked for people not to get ‘‘bogged down’’ in specific designs, but think about the idea more broadly.

Works will begin next month on a second wall-size mural behind Goulburn Valley Water’s offices in Fryers St, backing onto Stewart St, and this will soon proudly display the images of two influential indigenous women from the region.

It aims to be part of a council driven street art trail connecting the CBD with Victoria Park Lake.

Responding to his photoshopped designs, Tank said he had intended to ‘‘rustle up some talk’’ about street art ideas, and ‘‘rally some support’’.

He also suggested an opportunity existed for Shepparton to have a prominent collection of indigenous street art.

Mayor Kim O’Keeffe also embraced the artist’s designs.

She said promoting more street art through the city remained a goal to move towards in improving vibrancy.

‘‘We need to have that discussion ... it needs to be a community vision,’’ she said.

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