Artists set to spend a week painting masterpieces in Rochester

Eight artists from all over Australia will each spend seven days working on an artwork for the Rochester Mural Festival.

The festival will launch on Friday with artists taking to the streets from Saturday to create their masterpieces.

Rochester Mural Festival committee member Judy Anderson said judges will award prizes on Saturday, March 3.

“Artists paint for the week with prizes award for judges pick, highly commended and people’s choice,” she said.

“It is the fourth year we have hosted the festival. This year we had 14 entries, which was our most ever.”

The festival began as an effort to attract tourists and business to the town in the wake of the 2011 floods.

It sees eight artists fill eight outdoor mural boards situated throughout the town.

“The theme changes each year. This year’s theme is Nature, Her Beauty and Bounty and artists submit mini mural and designs for consideration,” Ms Anderson said.

“The mini-murals will be on display next to the artists through the week so people can see what they are (working towards).

“This year we have entries from Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. In the past we have even had international artists paint for the festival.”

A Rotary Club art exhibition and Devonshire Teas also operate through the week.

“I would say we have had several thousand people visit for the murals,” Ms Anderson said.

“The festival is growing. We have had great support and it is a good way to remind people that we are still here.

“With the ANZ bank leaving Rochester and Murray Goulburn leaving last year, this is something that can support the town and add to its economic welfare.”

The festival is a precursor to the town’s biennial fine art exhibition which aids the hospital and will open in April.

The Rochester Mural Festival launches on Friday, February 23, at 6.30pm in Rochester Mural Park in Mackay Street.

Artists paint their murals from February 24 to March 3. For more details visit www.facebook.com/RochyMurals