Shoppers in Wingham will know one thing next week.
It’s Beef Week.
But this time last year things were very different.
“You walk down the street and wouldn’t know Beef Week was on,” said president Paul Relf.
Once upon a time Beef Week was highly visible in the streets of Wingham with shop window displays and even cattle parades through the streets.
But in more recent years Beef Week has been more contained to the Wingham Showgrounds and interest in the event within the wider community has dropped away.
With 2017 being the 30th year of this special event organisers wanted to do something to rev up interest and make Beef Week visible again.
Hence a special art project was born.
The cattle colouring competition involved local primary school students from Wingham Brush, Wingham Public, Tinonee and St Joey’s.
Shops in Wingham are now filled with 12 brightly coloured cattle cutouts thanks to these very creative kids.
The project was coordinated by Wingham Rotary’s Ron Hindmarsh.
Well known around the schools for his art classes and art competitions Ron was well placed to help the Beef Week committee get the most from their idea.
Ron sketched out some cattle designs – using old photos from Beef Week for inspiration – and gave them to Paul.
Plywood cut outs were then made by Paul using material from Campbell and Jones Taree and then distributed around the schools.
There were no set guidelines for the kids other than they had to be eye catching in the shops.
“We thought it was important to let them be creative rather than being told what to paint,” said Ron.
“I left it to them to decide how to decorate them. They’ve done a great job,” he added.
At St Joey’s the job of colouring the cattle was given to a mixed group of students from kindergarten and year six as well as the school’s indigenous students and those in the learning support group.
“We tried to pick the most diverse group as possible,” said teacher Shane Cleaver who co-ordinated the project at the school.
The year six students held a brainstorming session to come up with a catchy slogan and Shane admits it was a “very courageous” kindie teacher who let her students into the rainbow coloured paints.
“All the kids tried so hard,” said Shane.
“They’ll be so proud of themselves.”
Check out the art in the shops and don’t forget to visit the showgrounds for Beef Week from May 15-19.