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Kati Kati New Zealand Joins the MuralsFest Parade

Honouring June Carlton in MuralsFest Style

Katikati folk are still ‘buzzing’ about the town’s first National Mural Contest held as part of Katikati Open-Air Arts Mural Festival September 26-October 1. The question on everyone’s lips: When is the next one?

Eight mural artists from around New Zealand were selected as finalists to paint a mural in four and a half days to the theme The River Was the Road. At stake was the June Carlton Memorial Trophy and a $2000 prize. The winner was Christopher John Finlayson, renowned artist and muralist from Golden Bay, South Island. Check out his amazing website at

Winner of the People’s Choice vote which also carried a cash prize was Roy Cunliffe of Katikati and the Spirit of Katikati prize (cash and trophy) went to Monika Welch of Tauranga.

click on all images to enlarge

Project coordinator Steve Graveson said the festival had been a huge amount of work for a small committee but the next one would be easier. “We have had great feedback and also interest from artists wanting to take part next time. People are already saying they want the festival and contest to happen every year as an icon event for Katikati but the committee has yet to decide whether it will be annual or biennial.”

A sculpture contest, mosaic competition and exhibitions of art, needlework, Maori craft and patchwork also attracted many visitors throughout the week. They were able to watch the eight artists at work, to vote for their favourites and to bid on the murals which were sold at auction.

Katikati Open-Air Art now owns three new murals and at least two others were bought by local businesses.
Check out Katikati Open-Air Art’s new website at Kati Kati's Open-Air Arts & Murals Website. The contest murals will be there soon.


Editor's Note ... The idea of a MuralsFest, where any number of artists work over a fixed period with their artworks judged both by experts and the public at large all working to a common brief amazing us all with the creativity of their interpretations, was seemingly pioneered in Sheffield Tasmania where the Gobal Association holds its next Biennial Conference in March 2008. After the 2006 Conference in Prestonpans, Scotland, plans are afoot there to transform its derelict Cuthill Public Park to accomplish a similar purpose. Sheffield very much plans an International MuralsFest as a significant element of its celebrations in March 2008!

Published Date: October 16th 2006

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