Silo art potential
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.