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Things are on the UP&UP at Rutherford

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This year looks set to be a massive one for the creative team at Hunter-based youth organisation UP&UP.

The group recently joined forces with Maitland City Council to give one of the region’s sports field a mini makeover.

And, about 50 members of the community chipped in, too, helping UP&UP co-creators Shane Kennedy and Faith Curtis to paint a mural on the rebound wall at Rutherford’s Norm Chapman Oval on Saturday 12 February.

A barbecue offering a sausage sandwich, thanks to the Rutherford Telarah Rotary Club, sweetened the deal for the hard workers.

The area is one of many features at the venue, which showcases a playground and a half basketball court while hosting sporting teams like the Rutherford Football Club and Western Suburbs Cricket Club.

“It’s essential to bring some colour back into a valuable community asset,” Mr Kennedy said.

“As you can see, we’ve done that [today].

“It has been a busy start to 2022.

“UP&UP kicked off the year with a series of Graffiti Art workshops at Stockland Green Hills Shopping Centre.

“Over a six-day period, we hosted 18 sessions with more than 250 people participating.

“The workshop concentrated on graffiti art, with lessons and a ‘live’ painting demonstration.

“Each participant created their own unique work using posca paint pens.

“They also learnt about structuring letters and words, choosing colours, creating shadow (3D) and how to add movement lines, drips, stars, arrows, splashes and other tips and techniques for creating a vibrant graffiti art piece.

“On top of that, they discovered the difference between graffiti art and graffiti vandalism – it’s all about permission.”

Revitalising the space was part of council’s Youth Space Activation Project.

“It’s an important one for us,” coordinator recreation and community planning David Baker said.

“We want to focus on finding ways to work with our community’s young people and create spaces that work for them, rather than just going ahead and doing what we think is best.

“If they help decorate the spaces, they’ll value them and use them time and time again.

“UP&UP is an organisation with a track record of doing amazing things with young people throughout the Hunter Valley.

“So, it made sense for us to team up and bring Norm Chapman Oval to life.”

The Youth Space Activation Project, funded by the NSW Government’s Safer Country Communities Grant, is a two-year mission council is currently undertaking, which will deliver a series of sporting and community art activities like skate, scooter and bike competitions, art projects and more.

Since it began a little more than 12 months ago, Maitland City delivered projects like the Ashtonfield Rebound Wall and the East Maitland Shred Skate Competition, with more in the pipeline.

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