A former Merbein cool-store is getting a colourful makeover, courtesy of the Merbein Arts Group’s volunteers, who are painting the exterior of the building with a depiction of the Murray River at Cowanna Bend.

The Merbein Arts Group have contributed to the beautification of Merbein’s streets, including 25 flower pots decorated in tiled mosaic designs.

They have also installed some ‘Magpies’ at the footy club and also beautified the ‘Telstra’ fence.

The group’s latest project is the painting of the former carrot juice factory’s cool-storage warehouse in Main Street near the rail crossing, whose owner has allowed them to access the building for the art project.

Heading up the project’s execution is McGowan Signs father and son team, founder Terry McGowan and his son Travis.

Terry said that Merbein Arts Group member Beck Storer who operates ‘The Cutaway’ design studio, came up with the idea for the project and has attracted funding from some community organisations and individuals to facilitate the artwork.

“Beck is a talented graphic artist and she has created the design concept for the warehouse,” Terry said.

“The theme of the design is ‘The River Runs Through’ which will depict the Murray River at Cowanna Bend.
“The project is being undertaken in three stages. Stage one of the project is well underway and will be completed soon.
 Stage Two will include some neon lighting, and Stage Three, will allow for people to have an interaction with the project, using a mobile phone app, which will activate a moving design on the building.”

“We started last week, initially washing the building and then we prepped it, ahead of painting it with two coats and today we will put the first coats of the river on and we are masking out the river outline to make sure we have that in the right spot and working to Beck’s design,” he said.

“Travis will also produce a digital print of the flowing river which will be laid into the design as well. Once the digital print is complete we will be back to finish the job in a week or so.”

“The Merbein Arts Group has come a long way in a short time and we have some really good volunteers and we actually were awarded a community Australia Day Honour last year.
“We are currently in the process of securing premises for a home for the group, which is the former health centre, which we will share with the Historical Society.”

The project will continue during the next three to four weeks, as the tradesmen/artists wait for paint to dry properly. The end result will be something quite unique and very different to the usual Silo Art.

The project is being supported by local business and community groups who love their local town − Merbein!

Without their support this innovative art installation would never had been possible and the community says thank you to the following organisations.

Fisher Developments, Mildura & District Real Estate, Merbein & District Community Bank Branch, McGowan Signs, Merbein Arts Group, Merbein Rotary Club, and the Merbein Lions Club.

To keep up to date with the project’s progress, visit the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theriverrunsthrough and also take a look at Beck’s The Cutaway studio’s website: www.thecutaway.com.au.