Makeover for water tanks

Artists Kaylie Rogers, Amanda Newman and OCH board member Norma Ashton-Smith. 229009_02

By Taylah Eastwell

The water tanks at Olinda Community House are set for a makeover, with local school students and a mural artist currently brainstorming designs before picking up the paintbrushes as part of a joint project.

The vision of transforming the tanks at Olinda Community House (OCH) has been a long-anticipated dream of OCH board secretary Dr Norma Ashton-Smith, who always thought the tanks could be painted with a community-focused design.

Artist Amanda Newman has been chosen to manage the art project and will work alongside students from Sassafras and Olinda Primary Schools and Monbulk College to create a design that highlights what is most important to the local community.

The Awakenings TankArt project has been made possible through Covid-19 Community Relief and Recovery grants from Yarra Ranges Council as well as the Monbulk & District Community Bank Covid-19 Small Grants Program.

Ms Newman said that at this stage all that is known is that the project will involve a theme of what was important to the community and students throughout the past year.

“It might be about the community or family. We are leaving it up to the kids to let us know what is important to them. We will come up with a design based on the student’s ideas” she said.

“I am going to do a workshop with each of the classes, giving them a project overview and brainstorming ideas. I will be showing them some basic tools for painting murals and ways to transfer their designs onto the wall. Students will attend the Community House in different days to help with the painting,” Ms Newman said.

Artist from Leaf Studios in Kallista, Kaylie Rogers, will also collaborate with Ms Newman.

Work has already started around the tanks with the adjacent garden area being reconstructed into a functional outdoor recreation space.

Dr Ashton-Smith said “the tanks always had potential as a medium for an artistic design”.

“The potential of this project has been on the Board’s agenda for some time, and we are pleased that we are finally able to realise our vision,” she said.

“As an art teacher, this is exactly what I could see happening. We are delighted to bring in the artist and to work with local schools. We always wanted the community to be involved. The design Ms Newman produces from her work with the students will be presented to the Board and once approved, painting will begin.”