PHOTOS

Wellington students help Sydney artist Mulga spruce up drab walls

YOUTH ENGAGED: Mulga, Hannah Austin, Nate Markcrow,Cameron Blackman and Azariah Iffland in front of the new mural, which depicts five cool birds. Photo: SUPPLIED

YOUTH ENGAGED: Mulga, Hannah Austin, Nate Markcrow,Cameron Blackman and Azariah Iffland in front of the new mural, which depicts five cool birds. Photo: SUPPLIED

A once dark and dingy building exterior at the Dubbo Aquatic Leisure Centre has been transformed into a birdy-licious work of art by 21 school students and Sydney-based artist Mulga.

Students from St Mary's in Wellington were among the 21 young people whose designs helped inspire the new mural creation.

TRANSFORMATION: The wall then and now. Photo: SUPPLIED

TRANSFORMATION: The wall then and now. Photo: SUPPLIED

Dubbo College Delroy Campus students Hannah Austin and Cameron Blackman also helped and both said they were Mulga fans who enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with the famous artist.

"Mulga is really good and we were able to talk to him about how he became an artist," Ms Austin said.

CONTRIBUTING: Cameron Blackman painting. Photo: SUPPLED

CONTRIBUTING: Cameron Blackman painting. Photo: SUPPLED

Students from St John's College also spent two days helping to paint the popular mural.

"The more art, the happier things are in Dubbo," Ms Austin suggested.

To get young people involved in the project, Dubbo Regional Council ran a competition which asked students to submit designs which captured Mulga's style.

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Winning students got the opportunity to work alongside Mulga.

"I would be glad to do something like that again and hope there is the chance to do a mural somewhere else in Dubbo," Mr Blackman said.

WORKING TOGETHER: Mulga and Hannah Austin spruce up the wall. Photo: SUPPLIED

WORKING TOGETHER: Mulga and Hannah Austin spruce up the wall. Photo: SUPPLIED

While the students and Mulga's finished product attracted praise on social media, Dubbo Regional Council's decision to effectively exclude local adult artists from being involved in the mural project attracted criticism on the Daily Liberal's Facebook page.

"We have so many talented artists here," Madeline Best pointed out.

"Local artists should have been the only people allowed to bid," Mitch Cobcroft said.

"Buy local or bye local," Danielle Griffiths suggested.

"Seriously council what are you thinking... put tenders out locally first," Gina Britten wrote.

"I've been in the arts community for 20 years and it's appalling the way local artists are continually ignored," Anna Bloomfield remarked.

"The artists in Sydney need the money, higher bills and no drought...," Tim Gratton said.

"What a slap in the face for our talented artists," Julie Davis wrote.

Council's liveability director Skye Price told Australian Community Media"not all commercial artists are equipped to deliver this level of requirement" when asked why local artists weren't invited to be part of the mural project.