October 14, 2014
One of the more enduring legacies from Nanango’s annual Mardi Gras is a collection of six murals that welcomes visitors at the Drayton Street entrance to Pioneer Park.
The murals are painted by artists in the week leading up to the Mardi Gras on blank canvasses erected in the park.
And after the festival is over, the works remain on public display for a year until the next Mardi Gras comes around.
The murals are the brainchild of the Nanango Art Society which launched the competition last year.
It’s believed to be the only competition of its kind in Australia, with the artists competing for a total of $9000 in prizemoney courtesy of sponsors Heritage Community Bank Nanango.
This year, artists Kerry Nicholson, Marion King, Will Nelson, Garry Eyre, Andrea White and Karen Russell took up the mural challenge, painting their works in front of curious onlookers who stopped by to watch them at work right up until noon on Mardi Gras day (Saturday, October 4).
The six finished murals were then judged, and prizes awarded.
Each artist received $500 for their week’s work and the winner – Kerry Nicholson – received the $5000 first prize for his photo-realistic rendering of a kitchen shelf.
The People’s Choice Award and a $1000 prize went to Karen Russell for her painting of a bleak outback scene.
Nanango Art Society president Julia Shaw congratulated all the artists on their efforts.
The winning entry will become the property of the Art Society, and the other five murals will be offered to the public for sale when next year’s competition begins.