Mu­ral revealed

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Front Page - GE­OR­GIA FOR­RESTER

Feild­ing pupils are get­ting their hands dirty in an ef­fort to brighten up their town.

Lyt­ton Street School pupils helped cre­ate a ‘‘bright, vi­brant piece of art’’ in the form of a mu­ral across a school wall this month.

Artist Joe McMe­namin vol­un­teered his time to cre­ate the mu­ral in an at­tempt to give chil­dren the op­por­tu­nity to learn about art, paint­ing and mu­ral work.

McMe­namin’s mu­rals are splashed about Lower Hutt, after its city coun­cil com­mis­sioned him to fix some ar­eas which had been tagged.

McMe­namin and his fam­ily made the move to Feild­ing this year, and he was on a mis­sion to brighten up some town streets.

A high school art teacher for 14 years, and although he used to sell his art, this year was his first as a full-time artist.

The mu­ral at Lyt­ton Street School, which faces on to Mon­moth St, came about after he de­cided to do an art project in each of his chil­dren’s class­rooms.

‘‘It kind of started off as a class project and then it ex­panded to in­clude more stu­dents from the school.’’

Pupils took part in a work­shop on de­sign and learnt how to paint a mu­ral be­fore giv­ing it a crack them­selves.

It took about a week to paint, in­clud­ing work­ing in some tricky wind.

But McMe­namin said it was a fun ven­ture that gave the chil­dren a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence what it was like to be an artist.

It was also a way to cre­ate some pos­i­tive vis­ual ad­ver­tis­ing.

‘‘I just think they think it’s a bright, vi­brant piece of art. It’s some­thing more in­ter­est­ing than a plain wall.’’

McMe­namin’s spe­cial­ity is na­tive New Zealand birds and he

‘‘I just think they think it's a bright, vi­brant piece of art. It's some­thing more in­ter­est­ing than a plain wall.’’ Joe McMe­namin

of­ten in­cor­po­rated bird-song pat­terns into his work.

He does paint­ing, prints and mu­rals. He has painted about 10 mu­rals so far this year.

‘‘I make orig­i­nal paint­ings on wood of birds. That’s kind of been my thing – I just love birds and I love paint­ing them and feathers.’’

‘‘I don’t paint peo­ple. I can’t paint faces or peo­ple. But birds and na­ture are my thing.’’

His next project will be paint­ing a time­line at the Coly­ton Com­mu­nity Hall.

MUR­RAY WIL­SON/STUFF

Artist Joe McMe­namin en­joys paint­ing na­tive New Zealand birds.

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