Wakefield Regional Council

Heroes tower over Snowtown as ‘Vans’ works mural magic

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13 April 2018

A tower of art

A relic from Snowtown’s bustling past as a railway community is being transformed into a colourful, prominent homage to the town’s heroes and history – all thanks to a determined local group and renowned streetscape artist ‘Vans the Omega’.

With a $10,000 grant from Wakefield Regional Council in hand, the local Community Management Committee has finally achieved a long-held desire to see an old town water tower transformed into a work of art to promote community pride.

“Watching the artwork unfold is incredible,” Snowtown Community Management Committee (CMC) secretary Tom Michael says. “Seeing this mural and our local heroes flying high, we hope, will inspire people to get more involved in our wonderful community.

“Snowtown has excellent people doing their bit - it’s a good place to live, with a wonderful history. It feels good to do something for our community and to give back to our town.”

As well as images to celebrate the agricultural history of the town, the artwork features local heroes such as John Hansen, who dedicated 25 years as a  CFS volunteer, and local sporting greats, footballer Simon McCormack, netballer Bernie Altmann and Lauren Ebsary, who grew up in Snowtown and has gone on to play cricket for Australia.

Mural artist Joel van Moore – better known by his moniker ‘Vans the Omega’ – is responsible for Port Adelaide’s prominent and praised Wonderwalls, as well as other well known Adelaide street art.

His work – which will use 100 litres and 280 spray cans of paint – has been interrupted only by the hospitality of the Snowtown locals. “Everyone here has made me feel very welcome,” he said. “Some kind people have even brought me lunch over!”

The CMC was largely spurred on by the late Mike Stone, who had for many years wanted to see art depicting the story of Snowtown on the old water tower. “We wanted to continue his legacy. We’re obviously sad that Mike isn’t here to see the tower now but we know he’ll be proud. We hope the rest of Snowtown is proud too,” Mr Michael said.

Wakefield Mayor Rodney Reid had high praise for the CMC which, after unsuccessfully trying to secure government grant funding, continued the push for the artwork.

“We saw this project as a chance to promote community pride and a great choice for one of our community grants,” Mayor Reid said. “Our grants program has seen improvements to facilities across the region and is just one way we aim to better promote our excellent community groups.”