This project was first proposed in July 2012 and officially begun in August, with a steering group of four people who co-opted others interested in organising the work, including several local artists.
The aim of the project was to create nine murals on town shop walls and alleyways, by raising funds, commissioning local artists to create designs, and getting community people of all ages and backgrounds to paint those designs.
Designs were chosen according to themes chosen through a consensus of ideas at a hui, plus input by historians and local iwi where appropriate, and moderated by professional artists to produce quality results of which all residents and participants will be proud. As of November 2015, the first four murals were completed - about 'Adventure Tourism', 'The history of Industry' in Motueka, 'Horticulture' and 'Our River, Te Awa'.
Funds were raised through council and community board grants as well as donations mainly from local businesses that have a connection with each of the mural themes.
Walls to paint on were researched and approvals sought and granted by building owners and lease-holders. All murals were painted by community people of all ages and backgrounds under the direction of professional artists who received $1500 as a 'token' payment for the many hours put in managing the process. Apart from the first mural, all paints were supplied freely by Dulux and Guthrie Bowron Motueka.
By the end of 2015 the results had become something of a tourist attraction, and photos of the first three murals were featured on the front cover of the 2015-16 local phone directory.
The themes/titles of the nine murals (decided through community input) were Pre-people, Inhabitation, Colonisation, Transport, River, Horticulture, Industry, Recreation, and Adventure Tourism.
View the official project description as proposed »
The fourth mural, "Our River - Te Awa", was painted on the south wall of Whitwells Menswear. Painting began on Anzac Day 2015, and was completed in early November.
The whole project is now dormant awaiting an offer by a managing artist to lead another design, and a committee to manage the process. We remain open to any suggestions for building the committee and finding an artist prepared to take on the task. Alternatively, a separate group may wish to continue the work under a separate entity. Assets purchased for the murals to date have been disposed of.
Here are some photos taken from work on the first 3 murals.