The Igniting Kimba Arts Program is several months of art and cultural events designed to celebrate the Kimba community, heritage and people, while at the same time attracting tourists for a much needed economic boost to the district. As part of this Program, they revitalised the town mural “Memorial to our Pioneers”, held a Fashions of the Era Parade featuring fashions from over the last 100 years, and staged the Kimba Art Prize and Exhibition. The Jewel of the whole program has been the Silo Art. The painting of six of Viterra’s grain cells in Kimba has been a huge project and one of which the whole community is immensely proud.
The Silo Art, a public artwork of about 25 metres high and 60 metres wide, shows a young girl standing in a wheat field depicting youth and the future and paying tribute to Kimba’s agricultural heritage. The scene has also captured some of the magnificent Kimba sunsets and these play out each evening with the Silo Art colours changing with the time of day.
The Silo Art project has been an overwhelming success! The community love it, the media love it, and the travelling public love it! It has exposed locals and visitors to the world of art and provided the economic benefits that all involved were hoping for.
The project was taken on by the Kimba Community Development Group Inc (KCDG) after being first discussed at a District Council Tourism Advisory Committee meeting. The KCDG was viewed as the most appropriate body to deliver the project and has a record of managing a variety of projects over many years and enjoys strong community credibility and support. The KCDG formed the Igniting Kimba Working Group to roll out the program and more specifically the Silo Art project. The Working Group brought extensive networks, skills, experience and passion to the project. It was very important to approach the District Council of Kimba in the very early stages for financial and in-kind support. The Council ended up being the project’s largest sponsor and was also contracted to carry out works later such as building the Silo Art Viewing Area.
The Working Group delegated a large group of volunteers to deliver the Fashions of the Era parade. It also brought in others to form the Kimba Art Prize Team to manage the Kimba Art Prize and 12 day Art Exhibition. This Team was formalised as a subcommittee of the KCDG. The community was involved as much as possible and the Silo Art project in particular was ‘owned’ by the community.
As soon as the Working Group selected artist Cam Scale to paint the Silo Art it held several community and student workshops which were attended by Cam. People were encouraged to put forward ideas of what they would like to see painted on our silos. The ideas were plentiful and they delivered themes for Cam to work with. The Working Group recognised that this would not be an inexpensive project and so started very early in seeking financial support through our Supporter Packages that offered 6 different levels at which sponsors and donors could contribute. Sourcing grants was also an important component funding the project.
Viterra’s approval initially, and then their ongoing support and help with various aspects of the Silo Art project was paramount to its success. Cam worked his magic with brushes, rollers and spray guns to spread 200 litres of paint across 6 silo cells transforming them into a magnificent piece of public art. Stage 2 of the project was launched at the Official Silo Art Opening with plans to light up the Silo Art each evening with solar lighting and this has recently been completed.
Check out the four weeks in four minutes video which gives you a birdseye view of the project!
Community participation was paramount to the success of the Kimba Community Development Group’s Igniting Kimba Arts Program.
The refurbishment of the mural started the whole public arts program with the original artists returning to provide the facelift. Another local artist volunteered alongside them for the 10 days it took to complete the work. The ‘Renovation Meets Innovation‘ event unveiled the refurbished mural with celebratory drinks and nibbles and then guests convened for a dinner over which the Igniting Kimba Working Group launched its Supporter Packages to raise funds for the Silo Art project.
The Fashions of the Eras involved about 50 people in the collection and selection of garments, modelling outfits, catering and set up/pack up of the evening event. The fashions were then displayed in an empty shop front for 2 ½ months after the Parade. The collective volunteer hours amounted to about 1000.
The Kimba Art Prize and Exhibition took about 400 volunteer hours to transform the town hall into an art gallery and hang the 200 or so artworks entered and displayed. A further 200 or so hours were given by volunteers who provided security for the artworks, collected admissions and generally acted as ambassadors for the exhibition and the town. Add to this the many hours put in by the Art Prize Team prior to the event and in packing up and the volunteer hours again easily reached 1000. Nearly 1000 people enjoyed the exhibition over the 12 days and the Art Prize Gala Evening was also very successful.
The Silo Art project was mainly managed by six people, however there were many occasions when others were involved through funding and in-kind offers of equipment and services. The community and student workshops held early in the project gleaned ideas for what could be painted on the Viterra grain silos from over 100 people. The project took well over 2000 volunteer hours.
While some people have been involved in only one of these events, others have been involved in two or three. The whole program has brought many people to work together, often learning and using skills they have not previously had the opportunity to do so. The ‘team work’ has been crucial to the success of all projects and the collective volunteer hours’ is massive.
The excitement and buzz around the Kimba district with the Silo Art Opening and the Kimba Art Prize Gala Evening and 12 day exhibition gave the community a lift and increased community pride and cohesiveness.
An Igniting Kimba Arts Program Facebook page was established very early to reach locals and much further afield (one post of a professional photographer’s amazing shot of the silos has now reach 140,420 people with 1500 people sharing the post. The post announcing that the painting of the silos had been completed reached 115,000 people.
Letter box drops have been used where information and invitations have been sent out through the 450 post offices boxes here in Kimba. The Regional newspaper has published many stories about the Silo Art, and this has extended to print media, radio and TV right across South Australia and even interstate.
The community and travelling public have gained an appreciation for the incredible talent required to paint a 25 metre high, 60 metre wide landscape on cylinders. The beauty of the final artwork is incredible and is receiving accolades from right across Australia and internationally via our Facebook site. School students often went to the Silo Art Viewing Area after school to check out progress and some of the school buses made detours at the end of the school day so out of town children could also appreciate the evolving art works. Artist Cam Scale took time after work to talk with the children and answer their questions about producing art work on such a challenging canvas.
Community pride and hope is at an all-time high. Young and old have been reminded of what a great community we are and how we can do almost anything we set our minds on when everyone comes together for a shared goal. Youth have seen how leadership, passion and hard work can deliver great outcomes. The District Council of Kimba has extended the area in the town’s free camping zones to accommodate the increased number of 1 -3 day stays of the travelling public. One of the local cafes reported their busiest two weeks either side of the Silo Art Opening since they opened their doors for business three years ago.
Leave a Reply