30 June, 2022
Splash of colour brought to Oakey
Over the past two weeks, artist Fintan Magee has been painting a vibrant mural outside the Oakey Library as part of an effort to unify and brighten the town.
Youth worker Adam Wenitong, who works for Young Bruthas (now Adapt), has been overseeing the project.
“The mural will bring fresh energy to the space and connect the community through a landmark,” he said.
“Other proven benefits includes opportunities for tourism, community pride, inclusiveness and extensive news and media coverage to highlight regional towns.
“Fintan Magee is an internally-recognised artist and people travel to see his murals and we’re hoping people do the same for this one in Oakey.”
“He even painted the giant elephant mural in Toowoomba and people still drive up from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast to get photos of it.”
Mr Wenitong said this project was inspired by local young people.
“I work with the Ground Up Program and one time my wife and I took local young people on tour around the region to see all the murals.
“They started asking us why Oakey didn’t have one.
“Even places like Warwick and Stanthorpe have murals, so that’s when we decided to make it happen for Oakey.
“What we’re hoping is that the mural brings people out to Oakey and encourages them to spend money within the community.
“I’ve even proposed to try and get a QR code next to the mural, where people visiting can scan the code and it tells them where local cafes and businesses are.”
Fintan Magee, who is from Sydney but now resides in Brisbane, has painted murals all over the world including in London, Vienna, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Moscow, Rome, Jordan, and Dublin.
He spent a lot of time researching the local area, specifically the plant life.
“The mural features bunya nuts to showcase the connection between Oakey and the Bunyas,” Mr Wenitong said.
“If you look closely you can see different native plants to the area as well as crops that are commonly grown in this region.”
Mr Wenitong said it’s a non-political way to bring the community together and acknowledge the town’s connection to the local natural region.