About Us

Sheffield Inc is a group of locals, keen to see the town buzzing with visitors amazed by their experiences in the area.
We are eager to follow all the necessary steps towards presenting a town worthy of the nick names 'Town of Murals' and 'Tasmania's Outdoor Art Gallery'. We're actively involved in commissioning new murals, and we're progressive in our commitments towards tourism, hoping to create a unique adventure for everyone.

Sheffield Inc has taken on the arduous tasks of the custodian of Tasmania's Outdoor Art Gallery in the Kentish District. Our aim is to offer a complete and accurate history of the Sheffield Murals Project. While murals are added and removed from the various buildings, this website will endeavour to present 'what is' and 'what has been' in days gone by. The images and information about the murals on this website will be ongoing for as long as artists use brushes and paint.

In the event that a mural has not been represented here, or the information is not entirely correct, please let us know.

The murals featured on this website are protected by © copyright, should you like to discuss access to an image please feel free to contact us.

We're also seeking the artist details where a mural has been presented with no name.
Should you know the artist please contact us.

How the Murals Began

A public meeting was held in Sheffield in 1985 to formulate strategies to arrest the state of steady economic decline which Kentish, Sheffield in particular, was experiencing at that time. This led to the formation of the Kentish Association for Tourism Inc. (K.A.T. Inc.) who then changed the name to Sheffield Murals and Rural Tourism Association (SMARTA Inc.) and currently Sheffield incorporating Murals, Tourism, Commerce (Sheffield Inc).

Soon after its inauguration, the K.A.T. Inc. committee began pursuing a suggestion to investigate an idea which had been successful for a town in Canada facing similar economic downturn in traditional industries. That town, Chemainus, on Vancouver Island's east shore, had begun painting murals on its town walls and had achieved much public recognition for its work. The murals were credited with rescuing the town.

K.A.T. Inc analysed the factors for success, then committed to achieving a similar result. This website is the record to date of the Sheffield Murals Project.
It was intended "that Sheffield and other areas in Kentish would have an outdoor art gallery of heroic proportions, depicting the pioneering history of the district and its people", to quote from the minutes of an early K.A.T. meeting. So! John Lendis was commissioned to paint the first mural which was completed in December, 1986. Since then the town has grown in directions we never dreamed could be possible.

Sheffield now hosts a week long event known as 'International Mural Fest', where nine artists paint their interpretation of the same theme on boards in a specially designed mural park. This means nine new murals are painted each year. With professional judging and by public voting, winning murals are selected and all the finalists' murals remain displayed in Mural Park for twelve months. This ensures, for people re-visiting Tasmania's Outdoor Art Gallery a renewal of interest in the Mural Project.

Sheffield can boast of approximately 2000 square metres of its history, events, heroes and heartbreaks painted on the walls of this quaint little town.
Acknowledgements
 

Sheffield Inc. would like to thank all the artists and their assistants, mural sponsors, past and present committee members, volunteer workers, the residents of Kentish (for allowing us to use their walls), the Kentish Council, and the thousands of visitor who have come to see our murals and share our history with us.

Funding and Support:
Tasmanian Community Fund generously contributed over $28,000 for the refurbishment of the murals in 2012.

Tasmanian Regional Arts generously support Sheffield Inc with insurance matters.

Kentish Council generously support Sheffield Inc with contributions.

Text and Research:
Sheffield Inc past and present
Sheffield Mural and Rural Tourism Association Inc
KAT Inc - Beth Pagel

Historical Sources:
Cook, B., Kentish Sesquicentennial Souvenir Book, 1992
Dyer, A., God was their Rock, 1974
Dyer, A., John Dyer and his Descendants, 1990
Morse, A., The Diary of Amelia Morse
The Kentish Museum, 93 Main Street, Sheffield
von Stieglitz, K.R. , A short history of Sheffield, The Kentish Municipality and its Pioneers, 1951


Mural Photography:
Noeline Robinson, Robbie Robinson, Mike Hancock, Peter Tonnelly,
David Hopkins, Bruce Hutchinson, John Pfeiffer.