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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sheffield, Tasmania

Pet Alpaca who sleeps inside at night

Sheffield was a dying town until a public meeting was held in 1985 and the Kentish Association of Tourism Inc was formed. Some enterprising person heard about the people in a little town in Canada called Chemainus who decided to paint murals on their town walls and received much publicity and tourist interest as a result.

Today Sheffield has about 50 murals scattered around the township and surrounds. But the exciting thing about this town is it's annual Mural Festival. In this truly unique event, you can watch the progress of the artists as they compete to paint a winning mural in just one week. Prizes are awarded to the Judges Choice and also the People's Choice winners.

Here are the finalists for 2009

JOHN EATHORNE - ROWELLS, TAS – has 30 years experience as a freelance commercial artist. Murals, prints, portraiture etc. Public mural commissions in NZ, QLD, NT and England. John has been a Tassie resident for 2 years.

PAUL SCOTT - SCARBOROUGH, WA – Paul has his Diploma in cartooning and illustration. Paul heads his own company “Paul’s Cartoons and Illustration". Commissioned paintings both domestic and commercial. Detailed caricatures, portraits, landscape, cartoons & illustrations. Murals include – Paddington Ale House (Pub Alfresco over 40ft wide.) Subiaco Football Club (WAFL, player of the century mural, 23 players over 100 years).

GILLIAN ROBNIK – SUNNYSIDE, TAS - Tutored many Arts Council and Adult Education classes in ceramics, watercolours and silk painting. Opened her own gallery “Windrush” in 1991 and was an exhibitor and founding member of Lalla Road Fine Craft. Gillian has a long career as a multi media artist, works in oils, acrylics, watercolours, ceramics, glass and silk. Selected artist in Lilydale’s Painted Poles project. Winner of the 2007 Mural Fest. Her work is held in many private collections locally & worldwide.

MALCOLM DRYSDALE – MACLEOD, VIC - Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Social Science, Diploma of Criminology, Bachelor of Arts. Conducted Seminars in Art History, Art Appreciation, 19th Century Art and Colour theory along with Art workshops in watercolour and colour theory. Lecturer in Social Science – including developing & teaching “Culture & Creativity”. Written, published and illustrated children’s books. Malcolm has participated in many Group & Solo exhibitions. 2007 Mural Fest finalist.

JOSE LOZA – LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA - Born in Mexico, lived in Long Beach since 1983. Over the last 9 years Jose has worked as a free lance artist doing commercial, fine art & working on over 30 murals in and around Southern California. Works for the city of Long Beach’s Mural and Cultural Arts Program, co-ordinating youth workshops, mural conservation/restoration and mural production. Currently working on designing a mural for the city of Long Beach and commissioned by the El Dorado Audubon Society, to paint educational paintings. A portfolio of his work can be seen at

KERRY & MALCOLM NICHOLSON – QLD (brothers) - Malcolm & Kerry have worked together for many years. Started off producing mass production paintings that they would sell door to door. Then ventured into painting Video Stores windows to advertise their movies. Duck Graphics was formed and by the time the bottom had fallen out of the video industry they had established themselves as sign manufacturers. Along the way they have painted many murals and have built up a rapport that allows them to both equally contribute to the relationship. Both artists in their own right but because of many years working together work well as a team.

PAT KIRKCALDY, JEANETTE EDWARDS & NADIA MITCHELL – SHEFFIELD, TAS Pat – for the past 7 years has been serious about her art. She has exhibited at many different venues, selling much of her work. She has a home art studio open to the public at Roland. Finalist with Diana Dodson in 2008 Mural FestJeanette – After moving to Tasmania and being inspired by the beautiful area and local artists, Jeanette joined The Working Art Space. Having painted and done craftwork for the last 20 years, she renewed her interest in painting and has exhibited at The Working Art Space.Nadia (Pat's daughter) – Drawing was a natural part of Nadia’s childhood and went to TAFE to further her skills. She enjoys most mediums & does commissions. Also a member of The Working Art Space she participated in the group mural by TWAS in Mural Fest 2006.

CHERY SIMS, LEADING THE LIGHTHOUSE PROJECT TEAM – DEVONPORT, TAS Diploma – Art, Craft & Design, currently Artist in Residence, Lighthouse Project, working with 22 students and co workers painting murals at 4 Ways, Devonport. Young at Art Project – PCYC Devonport City Council, painting murals and doing Mosaic with Primary students at Latrobe Primary School. Has accepted commissions for paintings and murals for both commercial & private. Participated in Group Exhibitions and also as a member of TWAS participated in the 2006 Group Mural at Mural Fest.

ANDREW & CAROLINE KRUGER – PARADISE, TAS - Advanced Diploma of Advertising and Graphic Design, Certificate 1V in Interactive Design (Multimedia), Certificate II in Colour Management. Participated in many Exhibitions, winning many awards. Their work is held in many private collections both in Australia & Overseas. Mural Fest finalist in 2007 & 2008 winning both Visitors Choice & People’s Choice award for 2007 mural.

When is it on? Sunday 12th to Saturday 18th April and if I possibly can, I'll be back here with bells on.