The mural brick road

Katikati Open-Air Art organiser Steve Graveson and Katch Katikatipromotions manager Jacqui Knight with the ‘Primal Aotearoa’ mural to be replaced with the 2015 Mural contest's winning masterpiece Waihi Beach artist Shane Walker has his eyes on.

Shane Walker is trying to make a name for himself in the art world, and what better way is there than to splash colour over the run-down buildings of your hometown and others.

The 26-year-old Waihi Beach artist has brightened up a new toilet block in the coastal town, the Beaches Motel and the Dave Hume Pools in Katikati.

“It’s pretty cool having something out there for the community to see and brightening up the place,” says Shane. “I see grungy buildings around the place that I’d like to liven up a bit for everyone to enjoy.”

His next masterpiece could replace a deteriorated mural on Katikati’s Carisbrooke St, as part of Katikati Open-Air Art’s 2015 New Zealand Mural and Arts Festival on September 29-October 4.

“I would be pretty thrilled if I could get my hands on that for sure,” says Shane, who’s entered the competition for the first time.”

Shane has been painting canvas for about seven years and murals for two years. In his words, Shane paints landscapes with no human interference and a few portraits.

He’s not very good at describing his work – he’d much rather put a paintbrush to canvas than talk about it.

“I like to touch up on all of my skills and do a bit of everything. I’ve always been interested in colour and creating artworks since I was a kid. It’s just something I’ve stuck with throughout my years and I can’t really explain why.”

Shane is one of six artists who’ll step out of their studios and park themselves somewhere in the township to paint their murals during the festival week for onlookers to peek at daily.

This year’s theme of the mural festival is ‘Natural Treasures of New Zealand’, with artists competing to claim their spot on the town wall, $5000 cash, the June Carlton Memorial Trophy, and the chance to win people’s choice award worth $1700.

Katch Katikati promotions manager Jacqui Knight says the 2015 festival celebrates 25 years of Open-Air Art and will turn Katikati into a hive of activity.

“Every day there’s 25-30 different things to look at read about or be involved with. It’s going to be a really busy week in Katikati.”

To see what’s happening during the festival week, see the Katikati Open-Air Art Facebook page. To view Shane’s artwork’s, search Shane Walker Artworks on Facebook.