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Schutz Olympiad One Step Nearer

Sheffield Plans to Launch ‘Global’ MuralsFest – March 2008

Sheffield, Tasmania, is acknowledged as Australia’s Mural Capital, and has been the inspiration of more than a few other communities across that nation and the Tasman Sea. When it hosts the next Global Conference in 2008 it also plans to launch another exciting initiative for the whole Association at large – to be known as The Biennial Global MuralsFest.

They have already 'pioneered' the approach in Sheffield for nine local artists each year since 2003, and others around the globe e.g. Lindsay in 2003, have tackled something similar. Now Sheffield proposes that from 2008 onwards the approach should also be a continuing feature of each and every Global Conference no matter where convened, not just an occasional or local event.

The creations at Sheffield's 2004 MuralsFest are shown below [click on images to enlarge]; and the 2003 selection is also available here on NewsNet

The Approach is Simple

The steps set down below are still in draft form, awaiting debate at Regional Seminars in Bowen and Bishop in 2005, and at the 2006 Conference in Scotland. Nonetheless they are tabled here for comment and debate as we go forward.

STEP 1: The Global MuralsFest Organisers publish a Poem or Theme and invite ‘all-comer’ artists to submit sketches of how they wish to interpret it. [Each community in membership of the Global Association will be invited to sponsor one of their own ‘local’ artists to attend, and on completion their work of art created can either be donated to the host community or shipped back home for display there.]

STEP 2: A Panel selects an agreed number [in Sheffield it has been nine each year but there can be more] and invites all the artists to paint together for a week in a single location – in Sheffield its an elegant outdoor Murals Square which has been built by the local Council but with each artist working underneath a zinc-aluminium arbour.

STEP 3: Throughout the week local people are invited to watch, wonder and interrupt just a little, as the art goes ahead. The muralists themselves are regaled by local artists and the community.

STEP 4: Everyone gets to exercise their critical faculties by ranking the completed works in their own order of preference, and explaining why. Three scenarios are proposed: [a] proclaimed experts in art criticism such as academics or journalists; [b] the artists themselves; and [c] by popular acclaim where for $1 any member of the public can cast their vote.

Significant Step Towards the Schutz Olympiad Ideal?

Karl Schutz has long advocated an Arts Olympiad. This looks just like an important step in that direction. Its success will of course depend on the enthusiasm and commitment of both sponsoring murals communities around the globe and of the artists themselves. But there is clearly no better place to launch the Global MuralsFest than Sheffield. It is Australia’s leading murals community and has to hand that nation’s legendary CanDo Culture.

Published Date: November 22nd 2004

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