Kempsey Adventist School gifts town with mural

Kempsey has a new mural to welcome visitors who arrive by train, thanks to the students at Kempsey Adventist School.

After a suggestion was made to the school from the timber mill business up the road, the kids banded together to create something iconic.

Featuring a Kangaroo, local bird life, an Akubra hat, the beach and valley landscapes, a cattle dog and a hearty welcome sign, the mural shines with significant features of the beautiful Macleay Valley.

It took 10 Year 9 students just three days to create the mural, however a carefully thought out process is behind the finished artwork.

First, students worked with Kempsey Shire Council to obtain permission to create a public artwork, after which they conducted research among the local community to see what local residents thought should feature in the artwork.

Using their field research, the students came up with two different design concepts which they eventually combined to create what is now the final mural artwork.

Speaking to the Argus, Kempsey Adventist teacher Melissa Metclarfe said the project was aimed at helping students learn how to create something that was public and for the community.

“There is a lot of different processes involved and a lot of collaboration with the council which was great for the students to understand,” Ms Metclarfe said.

“They went out into the Kempsey community and conducted surveys to gauge what type of artwork locals would like to see - what did they think reflected the community in the positive way? Some of the feedback included tips on using bright colours, capturing the landscape and incorporating both the farming culture of our valley as well as our indigenous culture.”

Students began the artwork with an undercoat of exterior paint and then used spray paint to execute the layering of colours and build up the animals and landscape.

Local artist James Moulton who is known for his local street art and murals guided the kids throughout the project.

“I’m extremely proud of them and the work that they did,” Ms Metclarfe said.