Sheffield is not only a gateway to the majestic Cradle Mountain. It is a quaint town that is known as Tasmania's 'Town of Murals'. This once-dying town reinvented itself as a village of beautifully painted wonders as well as a town filled with quirkiness, a hub for fine arts and crafts, studio galleries with woodcraft, glass and ceramics, eclectic shops and home to delicious cafes, restaurants and takeaways.
During the 1980s, this rural town was going through hard times, a public meeting was held in 1985, that the idea was to paint murals around the town, after hearing it was a success in the Canadian town of Chemainus.
From this idea, a mural from John Lendis called 'Stillness and Warmth' was commissioned, and became the first of now over 100 paintings in the town of Sheffield.
Historic Sheffield sits at the foot of the spectacular Mount Roland (1,233m high), and is surrounded by patchwork tapestry of fertile farmland surrounds and breathtaking mountains, and is home to more than 100 gigantic paintings scattered around the town's building walls.
The murals, created by local artists, depict local history and characters.
You can do a self-guided walking tour around Sheffield and discover all the murals, or if you like to know more about the murals, an audio-tour is available from the Visitor Information Centre. The audio-tour interprets the stories the murals tell.
The street art in Sheffield is unlike other street art in major and popular cities; you do not have to go down alleyways and laneways to explore art, here you walk down the main street and greeted with many murals.
There is an annual festival, Mural Fest which is held in town and features an art extravaganza featuring mural painting competition. There is a panel of qualified judges who decide the winner as well as the public who are encouraged to vote for their favourite artwork.
This 'outdoor art gallery' on the foothills of the beautiful Mount Roland and gateway town to Cradle Mountain is a friendly, quirky place of interest to visit. It is a town where history and art merge to create an entire of murals.
Whether you are passing through, taking a casual scenic drive, or want to explore and experience something unique, add the 'Town of Murals', Sheffield to your itinerary and discover the town's history through huge pictorial representations of characters and stories of the past.