Attention all artists. Well, maybe not ALL artists; just those who are keen on painting murals. And especially those artists who have a desire to spend some time in the north west Tasmanian town of Sheffield during March-April next year. Now who wouldn’t want to do that? This invitation is extended to local, interstate and international contenders, too.

All Artists - Mural Paint Off

2011 winning mural by Christian Griffiths (photo by Jo Kuchel)

All Artists:Mural Paint Off

Entries are now open for the 2013 Tasmazia International Mural Fest, and will be accepted until 18 January. All artists entering the competition need to paint a miniature of their intended mural and submit to the judges. This year, the theme of Mural Fest is “Wild and Free” and works will be based around a poem by Loretta Sommer: Freedom unrestrained, searches the secret wilderness of the heart.

From the miniatures, judges will choose nine finalists to paint their mural in Sheffield during Mural Fest. Entries are judged on technical excellence, relevance to the theme and originality. Successful artists will then have six and a half days to paint their final mural measuring 2.1m high by 4.8m wide. Just reaching this final stage will guarantee a cash prize of $1,000 each. The finalists will also receive free accommodation plus many of their meals, and the paint will be provided.

All Artists - Murals in Sheffield

Sheffield: Town of Murals, north west Tasmania

Not Just a Free Lunch

In addition to the $9,000 in prize money awarded to finalists, all artists battling in the “mural paint off” will be competing for a share of the remaining prize pool, which is an impressive $18,000 this year. The winner of the highly acclaimed major prize of $12,500 is chosen by a panel of at least three qualified judges. The winner of the highly commended award (sponsored by World of Marbles) will take home $2,500.

All Artists - Sheffield Mural Fest

All artists win prize money (photo by Michelle Kneipp Pegler)

Visitors to Mural Fest will also have an impact on the distribution of prize money. All artists in the mural paint off will receive votes from the public. The mural receiving the most support from visitors during Mural Fest week will win $1,000 (sponsored by Slaters Country Store). The murals of all finalists remain in Mural Park in Sheffield for the following year, and voting continues during that time. The mural receiving the most public votes at the end of the twelve months will be awarded $2,000. The judges-choice mural winners are eligible for the voter-choice prizes as well, so someone could be earning themselves a very large sum of money!

Murals: All Artists Enter Now

So do you think you have what it takes to be a winner? Or maybe you’d just like to submit your miniature mural for experience? Regardless of the reason, all artists can download an entry form and be in the running for some awesome prize money. But you have to act quickly. As I said, you only have until January 18 to give it a shot. What have you got to lose?

All Artists - Sheffield Tasmania

Mural in Sheffield, north west Tasmania

In case you’re not aware, International Mural Fest is a signature annual event for Sheffield that attracts thousands of visitors to the region. The Tasmanian town has been rightly dubbed the “Town of Murals”. Commencing Easter Sunday each year, Mural Fest is now in its 11th year and is one of the most successful events on the Tasmanian calendar.

Mural Paint Off in the Park

The unique mural paint off is held in Sheffield’s Mural Park, which was built specifically to cater for Mural Fest. All artists pit their skills against other competitors, while also battling their own endurance and the uncertain weather conditions. With any luck, we’ll be returning to Sheffield ourselves to take in the action and will be able to reveal more.

The organising committee do a magnificent job every year: generating sponsorship, attracting artists, marketing and running the event. It’s a huge task. But there’s one thing I would like mention, because it’s something close to my heart. The Save the Tasmanian Devil Fund will be receiving a donation at the conclusion of Mural Fest. Committee Chairman Des Brown of Eagles Nest Retreat indicated they’re hoping the cheque will total somewhere around the $1,000 mark. Now that’s something for everyone to celebrate.

All Artists - Mural Park

Mural finalist last year (photo by Michelle Kneipp Pegler)

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