Tumby Bay looks set to become the art capital of the Eyre Peninsula and it is all thanks to a group of people who are passionate about their town and want to see it thrive.
It started with Colour Tumby’s vision to follow in the footsteps of other regional towns using mega murals to make their omnipresent silos stand out from the crowd.
This vision will soon become a reality with work by Argentinian artist Martin Ron to be splashed onto the silos in March.
This statement at the entrance to Tumby Bay will be a great addition to the local landscape, as it has been in other places like Kimba and Coonalpyn (among others) but that was not enough – the Tumby Bay community wanted to take this concept to the next level.
The Colour Tumby committee always wanted to continue the artistic theme with a street art festival in the town.
However that was a long-term plan as it was going to take some significant funding to make sure it was done properly.
They never dreamed it could all be in place less than 12 months after Colour Tumby was first formed, but money from the state government’s Fund My Neighbourhood helped bring forward that long-term plan.
With the Fund My Neighbourhood grant paying for the silo art, after an overwhelming public vote for the project, the money that had already been raised for the silos art could go toward what the committee hopes will be the first of many Tumby Bay street art festivals.
The street art – which will last much longer than the length of the festival, becoming a permanent focal point – will give Tumby Bay a point of difference from other seaside communities around Eyre Peninsula and it might be enough to prompt passing travellers to decide that is where they will stop for lunch, a toilet break or a few nights.
Street art is growing in popularity and has made tourist destinations of many other lesser known centres.
The world’s best cities for street art are regularly listed in travel publications and on travel websites and who knows Tumby Bay may one day be added to those lists.
The council’s support for the festival by offering up three of its own walls for the event means all the locations have now been secured and while there is plenty more planning and preparation to be done before this year’s festival in April the potential is exciting.