Blank canvas, collaboration, and community inspires another Painted Environment in Upper Hutt

Upper Hutt City Council and Upper Hutt School have worked together with the community to create a new ‘Painted Environment’ celebrating Upper Hutt’s scenic outdoors and its unique culture and heritage.

UPPER HUTT, Wellington NZ, 08 SEP 2017— Upper Hutt City Council, in collaboration with Upper Hutt School senior students, has installed a mural and facilitated a clean-up on Blenheim Street, opposite H2O Xtream.

“The installation of a mural and the clean-up of the surrounding area is part of a Council’s city-wide project Painted Environment which aims to decrease graffiti vandalism, beautify our city, and build cultural and heritage character in Upper Hutt by facilitating the installation of murals in public places,” says Council’s Director Community Services, Mike Ryan.

The wall that the mural now covers was previously obscured by a corrugated iron fence; the fence was removed several months ago when Upper Hutt School upgraded some of its fencing.

“Once the fence had been removed, and the wall emerged, students and staff realised that the wall was a ‘blank canvas.’ We seized the opportunity to connect with our community and embark on the next Painted Environment,” says Upper Hutt School Principal, Jo Grant.

Upper Hutt City Council managed the project, provided paint, and engaged professional artist Joe McMenamin to work with the school’s senior students to design and install the mural. The school recently revised its school vision and values, and the inspiration for the mural design was based on feedback gathered from the students, parents, and staff during this process. The school’s 90-year-old oak tree features prominently, along with elements that reflect the school whakatauki, and what the students’ value about their school and their city, such as the rich cultural heritage and connection to the river, mountains, and the outdoors.

Painted Environment projects have been successfully engaging with children, young people, and communities across the city for over 18 months now,” say Council’s Community Development Advisor, Denise Johnson. “In addition to city beautification, some of the most rewarding outcomes of the project to date are seeing children and young people connecting with their community and taking ownership and pride in our city.”

For more information on Upper Hutt City Council’s Painted Environment project, go to upperhuttcity.com/community/community-projects/painted-environment/