Torrential rain and covid lockdowns may have stalled the completion of Rutherford's community mural but the vibrant mural has been unveiled in time for Youth Week.
The mural, on a fence bordering a pathway between Finney Close and Churchill Crescent, is the result of a joint collaboration between Hume Community Housing, local schools and residents.
After several mural workshops the final painting was completed on Saturday, April 17 and Sunday, April 18.
The project, which is fully funded by Hume Community Housing, was originally set for Youth Week 2020 but was placed on hold due to COVID-19.
Now it has made it in time for Youth Week 2021 which started on Friday, April 16.
The design workshops run by arts facilitators UP&UP provided an opportunity for attending local services including Hunter Primary Care, Compass Housing, The Shout Out Van, Grow A Star, Opportunity Pathways, and Youth off the Streets to chat to young people and link them to opportunities, programs and activities on offer. Youth off the Streets cooked up a sausage sizzle.
Maitland mayor Loretta Baker said the project was a great way to enhance the local community and bring people together.
"The main thing for me is to see everyone working together on this type of community project," she said.
"I can't wait to see the final result."
Hume worked with residents and UP&UP to deliver the project, where designs will complement existing murals adorning the Compass Housing complex located opposite.
Faith Curtis from UP&UP said that public art and murals help to revitalise community spaces.
"Ultimately we hope that this mural project can foster strong social ties and a sense of pride and belonging," she said.
Richard Hershman, Community Cohesion Officer at Hume said he was pleased the project managed to coincide with Youth Week 2021.
"The whole project has brought the local residents together and really provided a great sense of community, not just by creating a great piece of art for everyone to enjoy, but encouraging young people to express themselves and to have fun," he said.
"When they walk past the mural the whole community can take pride in the fact that they played a part in its creation," said Mr Hershman.
Gomeroi man and local indigenous artist, Jakeob Watson assisted with the workshops and the design. Watson recently designed an Aboriginal artwork for Hume Housing's Reconciliation Action Plan which hangs in Hume's Maitland Offices, part of this artwork was replicated in the mural.
Shane Kennedy from UP&UP also said that over 20 young people from the area assisted the artists over the weekend, with Alyssa Stevens and Kane Pieper playing a key role in bringing the mural to life.
Hume Community Housing is one of the largest community housing providers in Australia and in 2018 Hume secured the largest social housing transfer in NSW under the Social Housing Management Transfers (SHMT) program. Here Hume assumed tenancy management of over 2000 homes and 4,000 customers across the Maitland and Port Stephens local government areas.
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