Silo art po­ten­tial

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROBERT MUIR

Well known Corowa res­i­dent Keith Bar­ber ad­dressed coun­cil’s monthly meet­ing on De­cem­ber 18 af­ter coun­cil’s di­rec­tor cor­po­rate and com­mu­nity ser­vices Kristy Kay spoke.

“There’s a lot of in­ter­est in silo art, peo­ple are keen to es­tab­lish some in Corowa - and Rand and Urana too - and form a com­mit­tee,” she told coun­cil.

“I see this com­mit­tee help­ing us to progress with im­por­tant is­sues like this. We could seek in­ter­est from the com­mu­nity to be part of that com­mit­tee and have the for­mal com­mit­tee in place.”

It was a dif­fer­ent coun­cil sit­u­a­tion for Mr Bar­ber who, af­ter be­ing a coun­cil­lor for 27 years in­clud­ing the role of shire pres­i­dent (mayor) for six terms from 1989 to 1995, ad­dressed coun­cil­lors and ex­ec­u­tive staff at their monthly meet­ing, on the sub­ject.

The Corowa District His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety mem­ber said three lo­ca­tions for silo art have been dis­cussed by mem­bers in­clud­ing the wa­ter treat­ment plant in Tower Street Corowa and at Hope­field, both of which could cause traf­fic is­sues.

“We’ve cho­sen Corowa Whiskey and Cho­co­late Fac­tory as the most vis­i­ble and suitable site, and spo­ken to Dean Druce (fac­tory man­ag­ing di­rec­tor) who is sup­port­ive of the idea,” Mr Bar­ber said.

Mr Bar­ber re­ferred to the silo art work at Tungamah, Devenish and Gooram­bat, be­tween Yar­ra­wonga and Be­nalla. “The most im­pres­sive was Devenish, with bright, vi­brant colours, board be­side ex­plain­ing the sub­ject and his­tory of the si­los,” he said.

“It has cre­ated a tremen­dous draw­card for Devenish.” Mr Bar­ber ad­vised that the Corowa District His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety has nei­ther the peo­ple re­sources nor the sub­stan­tial fund­ing re­quired to un­der­take the art work.

“We could call a pub­lic meet­ing to gauge sup­port and hope­fully cre­ate a com­mit­tee and de­pict some im­pres­sions of Corowa’s role in Fed­er­a­tion.”

Cr Paul Miegel asked if the his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety was look­ing solely at painted art work, men­tion­ing other medi­ums such as lasers to light up the si­los.

“Yes, but we’re cer­tainly not against other forms of art work,” Mr Bar­ber re­sponded. “That would be the chal­lenge for the com­mit­tee.”

Deputy mayor and tech­nol­ogy ad­viser Shaun Whitechurch pointed out many ad­van­tages of, al­beit sub­stan­tial out­lay of some $90,000 laser show­ing of silo art which could at­tract vis­i­tors to “stay in town, have break­fast in the morn­ing” and have “dif­fer­ent themes”.

“A night time might com­ple­ment day times,” Cr Whitechurch said. “It’s amaz­ing. It has laser mu­sic, is por­ta­ble and can be taken to dif­fer­ent sites.”

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil Mayor Pat Bourke de­scribed the ‘mov­ing around’ as a great idea then ap­plauded the for­mer mayor’s ad­dress. “I think it’s a fab­u­lous ini­tia­tive. Ev­ery­one can ben­e­fit,” the mayor said.

Coun­cil­lors unan­i­mously backed a rec­om­men­da­tion from Ms Kay that a Terms of Ref­er­ence for the Fed­er­a­tion Arts and Cul­tural Devel­op­ment Com­mit­tee be de­vel­oped and a mem­ber­ship drive oc­cur to form the new com­mit­tee. That next ac­tion is likely to be in Fe­bru­ary, 2019.

“Coun­cil would work with the com­mit­tee on any arts and cul­tural devel­op­ment ini­tia­tives and pro­grams, and the com­mit­tee would rec­om­mend to coun­cil what the over­all arts and cul­tural devel­op­ment pri­or­i­ties are for the coun­cil area, con­sid­er­ing avail­able fund­ing and would help to raise funds through other sources such as grant fund­ing or fund rais­ing,” she said.

Corowa District His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety mem­bers ex­pressed their hap­pi­ness with the coun­cil dis­cus­sion and re­sponse. “We were pleased to hear coun­cil’s very pos­i­tive in­ter­est in what we’d like to see done,” Mr Bar­ber told the Free Press. “It’s a good start and let’s see how much com­mu­nity in­ter­est we can all muster.”

Corowa Whiskey and Cho­co­late Fac­tory’s Dean Druce ex­pressed his sup­port to the Free Press. “I think it’s a great idea and I think Corowa should get in­volved in such a top­i­cal project at the mo­ment,” he said.

“I think it would fit in per­fectly and would be happy to work with coun­cil for the project.”

Silo art, with an em­pha­sis on Corowa’s rich his­tory painted on the town’s Whiskey and Cho­co­late Fac­tory, and for­ma­tion of an arts com­mit­tee have been put to Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil.

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