Silos around Australia are becoming canvases for regional creativity and expression and also act as a magnet for tourists with over 40 communities reaping its benefits so far.
There has been a push by several members in the Parkes community to get the grain silos in May Street painted. Local resident Csaba Belley is extremely passionate about this and has done a lot of research into the benefits this could hold for our town.
According to Csaba there were 44 painted silos in Australia in December last year with six more planned for 2021. The Silo Art Trail website has 65,000 members and an average of 622 comments per day.
“The Silo Art Trail has been mentioned in National Geographic, in Ripley’s Believe it or Not, on the Back Roads television program and has featured on a series of Australian stamps,” said Csaba.
He said Dr Amelia Green from Griffith University explored the capacity of the Silo Art Trail in empowering communities, activating places and supporting tourism. Her findings reinforce that the value of the trail is multi-faceted on a social, cultural and economic level.
“In two to three years the Parkes bypass is going to take a lot of potential visitors from our town,” said Csaba. “The silos in Parkes are in a perfect location with a long list of businesses within a 1km radius, including hotels, clubs, restaurants, shops, Cooke Park and the brand new Cooke Park Pavilion.”
Csaba had spoken to a representative of the Bland Shire Council about the effect of the magnificent murals on the silos at Weethalle. The silos have been featured on postage stamps and received over a million vires on Facebook. “What a great promotion for a township of a mere 300 people!”
Another example Csaba found was that since the water tower was painted at Gunne-dah more visitors have passed through the town’s museum doors in a month than in a whole year.
Csaba has been in contact with and has sent a proposal to Parkes Shire Council, but according to Council it could not be considered at the moment. The silos belong to Grain Corp, and the company is revamping its community program, which includes silo art. “Submissions for new silo art projects are currently closed, while we work through several projects in 2021 and 2022. We are working towards relaunching our program in late 2021,” according to Grain Corp’s website.
Csaba feels Parkes should be more proactive and start planning in order to be ready once the Grain Corp program is up and running again.
“I’d like nothing more than seeing this project happen.” He thanked all The Parkes Phoenix readers for taking an interest in the project following several letters from readers with suggestions over the past month.