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Published February 11th 2021
Discover artworks all around town
Nelson Bay is a colourful, waterside town in the region of Port Stephens in NSW. It is a tourist hot spot all year around for its clear blue water, white sandy beaches and spectacular views.
As you walk around town, you can't help but stop and admire the colourful street art murals that have started to adorn laneways and walls around the town centre. Some have been there for years, whereas others have just been painted - thanks to a new Vibrant Spaces Fund, provided the Port Stephens Council. Keep reading for where to find them, who painted them and what to look out for. Get your camera ready - each one is strikingly beautiful and artistically astounding! Make sure you get closer, to appreciate the detail...
Under water scenes along O'Meara Laneway, Nelson Bay
Ocean Theme at O'Meara Laneway, Stockton Street, Nelson Bay. Artist: Megan Barrass
This ocean-themed mural can be found in the O'Meara Laneway off Stockton Street in Nelson Bay (see here for a map). It was completed in January 2021 by local artist Megan Barrass from Shoal Bay, whose artworks are always colourful and celebrate all the positive things about life. Ensure that you walk down the whole length of the laneway and see the detail in the artwork, such as camels walking over the Stockton Sand Dunes and the patterns in the fishes. As I took these photos, a mother walked along with her young son and they had a fun time counting all the starfish. It really is a celebration of life, that can be enjoyed by all ages.
This mural is also interactive, as you can "take a seat" in the boat and get a photo - just as the local mayor and the artists did, in this photo below...
Image: Port Stephens Mayor, Ryan Palmer with the artist, Megan Barrass. Supplied by Port Stephens Council Facebook
Lorikeet, Magnus Street, Nelson Bay. Artist: Jordan Lucky
This artwork below was created by local street artist Jordan Lucky and funded by the Port Stephens Council Vibrant Spaces Fund. It was painted in January 2021 using a large number of spray paint cans and a whole lot of talent! You can find it next to John Dory Seafoods in the town centre (see here for a map to find it).
Jordan Lucky lives locally and creates murals all over the Newcastle and Port Stephens region. He has been a large-scale street and mural artist for the last 15 years and has also completed murals in Europe, Scandinavia and Asia. You can also see his work at the newly-completed Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary at One Mile Beach - see here a News of the Area article about this work.
Magnus Street lorikeet progress photo...Image: Port Stephens Council Facebook
Wetlands Mural, Tomaree Library Courtyard. Artist: Jordan Lucky
This artwork was also created by local street artist Jordan Lucky, funded by the Port Stephens Council Vibrant Spaces Fund. It was painted in January 2021 and depicts the wetlands that are behind the library, including features of the unique wildlife in the area.
During January 2021, members of the public were invited to go and watch him paint the mural and it was fascinating to see how easily he created images that seem to come out from the wall in 3D realism. Tomaree Library is located opposite Salamander Square shopping centre (see here for a map) and the courtyard is located in the far back, left corner of the library.
Progress photo...Image: Port Stephens Council Facebook
Australiana artwork, Magnus Street, Nelson Bay. Artist: Rhys Fabris - assisted by Nick Stuart and Jordan Lucky
This bright street art mural can be found along Magnus Street, next to Naked Alley Café (see here for a map). When you walk along the street from the south, the kookaburra grabs your attention and then you realise that there is a whole wall down the laneway, full of Australian animals and birdlife. This is another mural in a laneway where you need to walk down, take your time and enjoy the details in each animal you see.
According to an article in the local Port Stephens Examiner (see here), the artist Rhys Fabris thought that he had been hired to paint a mural in the laneway, but instead, it was for inside the café next door. That sparked an idea and he was then approved to work on both! With help from fellow local street artists, they started this sensational mural in 2018 - which is still the talk of the town. Ensure you take a look at both works next to and inside Naked Alley Cafe!
Wherever you go around Nelson Bay, it is colourful, bright and full of tropical colour. These artworks all represent the scenery and uniqueness of this pristine area and it brightens your day to see such talented people create such beautiful artworks, for us all to enjoy.
Even when you leave the Nelson Bay area, keep looking out for murals inside bus shelters and artworks on walls, particularly in Anna Bay. This one below, was painted by the same artist as the laneway above, Rhys Fabris, on the blank wall outside Vinnies on Campbell Avenue back in 2019 (see here for a map).
Beauty is all around in Port Stephens - whether it be from the top of Tomaree Head or walking past your local Vinnies. Always keep your eye out for beauty, in all its forms...