A streetwise Tirau hangs art outdoors
Art and historic photographs line the footpath, transforming Tirau’s main street into an outdoor gallery – part of the Tirau Footpath Gallery Project
The display, hung during the past month, is a permanent fixture and can been seen outside shops including the Merchant of Tirau, Cabbage Tree Cafe and I Spy Books.
Tirau project member Pat Eastwood said the idea of an outdoor gallery originated from something she saw in Australia.
‘‘I was doing a river walk near Melbourne and there was a framed picture on the footpath. Someone had painted the picture looking across the river from the spot [the painting] was sitting in,’’ Ms Eastwood said. ‘‘I saw it and thought that would be a great idea to do in the whole town and is a way to honour artists.’’
A Tirau Footpath Gallery Project competition was created in 2004 and held annually until 2009.
Artists who entered had to sit in public for a weekend painting or drawing something that related to the small arty town.
The winning entry from each year has been reproduced and combined in one frame.
The winners include Rachel Ratten 2004, Julie Oliver 2005, Helen Wallace-ward 2006, Graham Wine 2007, Gavin Smith 2008 and Jessica Mcverry 2009.
The historic photos of Tirau were supplied by Tirau Historical Society member Peter Gray and a number of families in the area. Photographer Warren Lee worked to improve the quality of the images ready for print.
‘‘We have put 12 up around Tirau and we have three more waiting to go. Once we are able to raise more funds we want to put up more, which will take the total to about 25 photo boards around town,’’ Mr Lee said.
Tirau Oxford Gallery owner and project team member Heather Leonard said she was thrilled with the outcome.
‘‘It is a great thing for this town. It looks good and the frames have come up nicely. We want people to be able to walk through and enjoy what we have put up,’’ she said.
The original Footpath Gallery Project art will be sold in a silent auction and can be seen at Art on Main in Tirau.
Outdoor gallery: A historic picture display of Tirau outside the Cabbage Tree Cafe in Tirau.