Street art festival delivers 'something joyous'

Posted on 25 July 2023

The purpose of a Motueka street art festival was to reconnect the community with “something joyous”. Organiser Dani Hedges felt like that goal had been achieved.

The response to a post she put on social media, confirming the last of the festival’s murals was complete, was “just incredible”, with 349 likes and around 100 comments, all positive, she said.

“People were so patient ... they just loved seeing it going up,” Hedges said. Among comments were that the six colourful artworks were a “gift to the community” that added “vitality and life”.

Hedges felt the town needed brightening up after missing the usual summer influx of tourists through Covid-19, and being hit by weather events. She devised a plan last year for local artists to paint the murals on buildings across the centre of town – with building owners reviewing and approving the designs – in a festival at the end of summer. 

The timeframe was extended due to untimely events including Cyclone Gabrielle, which stranded a couple of artists up north, and meant the last mural was finished at the end of June. The theme of the festival was “This is Us”, a celebration of the town’s diverse culture, with artists expressing themselves and their connection to the region.

The murals were completed by Zara Alen, Melissa Linton and Yara Hunt (on Patisserie Royale), Dani Hedges (on Sprig and Fern pub), Yelz (on Imagine Theatre), Chrissy Zesk and Sean Duffel (on Motueka Auto Shoppe) Pip Richards (at Hotel Motueka car park) and Amrita Gardiner and Fiona Craig (at Revite Cafe). The festival was funded by a community grant from Tasman District Council, and sponsorship from businesses and organisations in the town including NBS, Resene, New World, Motueka Community Board, Motueka Community Store, Mitre 10 and Bay Pharmacy. Hedges hoped to make the festival biennial.

Read the original article here.

Pictured: Artists Chrissy Zesk & Sean Duffel.

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