Local Robe artist proposes park art designs to council

Local Robe artist Callan Sawyer has asked Robe District Council to fund designs he has come up with for the Robe skate park. 

Robe District Council discussed the request at this month’s council meeting. Deputy Chief Executive Nick Brown went into detail about the request.

“He’s currently living and studying in Adelaide, studying a bachelor of design,” Mr Brown told councillors. “He’s come up with some design concepts and he’s asking if council will fund it, or put together a portion of the costs and he will seek a grant.”

Mr Brown added that the council only spent $2000 out of its $10,000 budget, so the cost would be covered within the existing budget. Mayor Peter Riseley left it up to elected members to discuss and decide.

Cr David Loxton had his doubts about the plans to implement a new design.

“I wouldn’t, sounds like someone just wants a job. If it came from the skate park committee or something like that then maybe, but if someone just comes up with a job for themselves then forget it.”

Cr Alison Nunan looked at the positive side, saying the park could do with a facelift in the way of art and design.

“The skate park is looking really jaded and it’s looking fairly daggy,” Cr Nunan said. “I can’t see why we wouldn’t suggest to Callan Sawyer to go away and apply for some funding for this project.

“We’ll contribute, but to go and source funding first, what have you got to lose? At worst it may cost us up to $1000.”

Cr John Enright added to Cr Nunan’s comments, agreeing that council need to do something for the youth in the community.

“I’m fine with that, I think we should do something for the younger people.”

Mayor Peter Riseley suggested that children at local schools should contribute to the designs so that Callan could work with them to build on some ideas.

Cr Lawrence Polomka and Cr Loxton agreed that they need to see more of Callan and the ideas he has before they make any decisions, adding that he should seek funding from an external source.

“I would like to see some more of this young gentleman and he come to us,” Cr Polomka said. “I’m shutting the gate today but it will re-open, I’m just treading carefully because I don’t like having precedence of putting money here and money there with people coming in and saying ‘You did it for him, what about us?’

Councillors agreed to invite Callan to the next meeting to discuss his ideas further and go from there.

Speaking to the Leader after the meeting, Callan touched on his aim to get primary school students involved in the project, if he gets the chance to execute his ideas.

“The skate park hasn’t been done up in a long time, it’s looking a bit rough,” Callan said. “Not only will it look better but I think it will spark a steady revival, as the kids will go down there more and check it out.

“For me personally, I’m an up and coming artist and illustrator, I’m doing my street art to try and get my name out there and show people what I am capable of. It’s about personal development as well as doing a positive thing for the community.”

Callan plans to discuss his ideas on how to fund the project at the next council meeting.