Internationally renowned as Australia’s Town of Murals, Sheffield’s first mural ‘Stillness and Warmth’ was painted in 1986 by John Lendis. Since then, more than 130 murals have been added to the collection, highlighting the region’s rich history of stories, pioneering families, farmers, community leaders and the beauty of this idyllic part of Tasmania.
Visionary Brian Inder believed the mural theme in Sheffield needed another string to its bow and created Mural Fest which over the years has evolved to provide unique and contemporary public artworks that complement the Town of Mural’s colourful landscape and ensure that visitors have something new to see each year.
Held annually since 2003, Mural Fest is a truly unique, annual event comprising of a mural painting competition and other arts-related activities, attracting mural artists from Australia and around the world.
Conducted in Mural Park, Sheffield’s very own ‘Outdoor Art Gallery’ in the heart of Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain touring region, Mural Fest tests an artist’s skills, endurance, and tenacity while subjecting them to public scrutiny, time constraints and sometimes unpredictable Tasmanian weather!
Historically, nine artists have been selected to compete in full public view over a seven-day period using the same poem or theme as their mural’s central theme and inspiration. The murals are 2100mm x 4800mm in size with the Inder Prize and People’s Choice Prize being awarded.
All murals remain on display in Mural Park until the following Mural Fest, providing visitors to the area the opportunity to delight in viewing the completed murals and learning about this unique competition.
Over the years, interesting mural-based activities have been introduced including street art competitions, painting murals by helicopters and unicycles and painting murals with the public.
As part of Mural Fest’s 20th anniversary celebrations, International Mural Fest, a prestigious event on the international arts calendar will take place in 2023.
With the backdrop of magnificent Mount Roland, and nestled in rich farmlands, Sheffield is centrally located and on the main touring route to Tasmania’s iconic Cradle Mountain, West Coast, Devonport and the North West Coast, Launceston and Northern Tasmania.