Local students help paint Footscray

Published on 12 May 2021

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Footscray City Primary School received a fresh lick of paint when students joined renowned artists, Heesco and Chuck Mayfield, to paint a large 40 metre wide by 10 metre high mural on the back wall of the school’s gym.

Activating the corridor nestled between the gym and train line for pedestrians and train travellers, the mural, which was co-designed by students and artists, celebrates life-long learning and the benefits of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) focused education.

 Featuring an astronaut in a colourfully decorated suit moving from the past into a bright future, led by Bunjil the Eagle as a welcome and optimistic symbol for our community moving forward. The prominent emblems embedded into the mural reflect the STEAM approach to learning and celebrate the local area.

 The design emerged from a series of weekly workshops with 60 students from Footscray Primary School, Footscray City Primary School and Footscray High School. Through the workshop process the students learnt about street and public art, developed visual concepts about STEAM learning and gained practical experience using stencils, rollers and other street art techniques.

The project is part of Maribyrnong City Council’s StreetWORKS program and was delivered in partnership with Victoria University, Footscray City Primary School and the Footscray Learning Precinct. The initiative supports and promotes the arts while contributing to the visual amenity of our neighbourhoods and has the added benefit of reducing graffiti and tagging.

A word from the Mayor, Cr Michael Clarke

“I am so pleased to see artists collaborating with school students, helping them gain practical experience and creating works the community can enjoy in the process.”

A word from Victoria University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adam Shoemaker

“People’s art really matters in their own precincts. We are delighted to partner on this project, as it’s a wonderful example of the Footscray Learning Precinct in action and the unique opportunities that it provides for the community.” 

A word from Footscray City Primary School principal, Jessie Hand

“The Footscray Learning Precinct provides a unique opportunity for collaboration between the three schools, Victoria University, Maribyrnong City Council and local organizations and this project is an example of what’s possible when we leverage these partnerships. It has been a privilege to work with professional artists and for the students to have the opportunity to engage in a learning experience that sees them leaving such an incredible legacy for the community in this beautiful and thought-provoking mural.” 

Photo courtesy of VU in the Community, photographer Dennis Murphy Photo.

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