Sunday Wall Art Program

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Sunday Wallart is a fun competition for local primary school age children to show off their skills and creativity on the walls of the Jetty Markets. FOCUS chats to one of the organisers, Andrew Smith (AKA Captain Jack) about the competition.

How did the Sunday Wall Art program come to fruition?

Myself and Greg Softley, the manager of the Jetty Markets, have been working together this year to boost the profile of the market.

We were looking for something a bit different to add to the markets, and we thought of a painting competition. At that stage, I’d been doing kids’ activities there for about 2 months, so in late July we started the Sunday Wall Art project.

We had all the walls around the side of the market, and we thought if we divided it in to 2 metre sections we could paint around them in a competition.

We had to decide which age group would be the best, and we thought primary school age, because parents, grandparents and friends would want to come and view the artwork, and the kids would also want them to come down and see it.

Initially, we opened it up mostly to schools, and then we included community groups as well. We’ve just finished our second term of the competition, and we’re about two thirds of the way around the wall at the market!

What are the prizes that are up for grabs?

The prize is $1,000 each term to the winning team with the biggest number of public votes. This money goes to the group to spend on whatever they want. On top of that, the kids on the winning team get $500 cash to divvy up between them.

Through the research we’ve done, we’ve worked out it’s one of the highest prizes for a primary school art competition on the coast! We didn’t realise that when we started it, so it’s great!

How many people are in a team?

If they have more than 5, they take it in turns to paint – a bit like a tag-team. So 5 is a good number.

How is the competition judged? 

It’s based on a points system, which includes people’s choice, Facebook votes and a series of challenges. On the Facebook page you can look at the artworks then ‘like’ your favourite – each ‘like’ counts as 5 votes.

There’s also the challenges that ‘Captain Jack’ puts out on Facebook each week. For example, the first week in November was a Movember challenge – the girls got double the points for getting a moustache happening!

We also had a ‘bring some treasure’ challenge, and the kids brought down those chocolate coins etc. And another week was a boating challenge, and they brought down life vests, oars etc.

Each of the challenges means participants get points towards the end result. And of course, people can also vote on the day. Voting on the day, combined with the challenges and Facebook ‘likes’ gives us an overall result.

So how else does Captain Jack get involved?

He hosts the event on the day. He does a bit of commentating while the kids are painting, and he encourages people to vote.

He gives away prizes for voting and runs a couple of games for the kids as a bit of entertainment. He also makes sure the kids are topped up with paint, water and brushes etc.

What happens when you run out of wall?

We’re going to have to go to the outside walls, or paint over the originals and start again. The goal is to complete the whole wall by Easter and then have a celebration and opening of the ‘art gallery’ that is down there now.

How can teams register?

If they ring myself or Greg, they get to book in a Sunday to paint. If a Sunday is too tricky; say for example, they want to make it a school excursion, the teachers can just bring them down on a day during the week that we tee-up for them.

Thanks Andrew.


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