Sheffield was a thriving little town while several hydroelectric plants were being built in northwest Tasmania. By the mid-1980s though, the construction had finished, and the town shared in the area’s general decline. The town’s leaders looked for inspiration to the other side of the world, in Canada, in a small town on Vancouver Island called Chemainus.
Also facing an economic decline, Chemainus had begun painting murals on its buildings, which drew visitors and revenue. The citizens of Chemainus credited the murals with saving the town.
Sheffield decided to give murals a try too. In 1986, John Lendis painted the first mural, and Sheffield rebranded itself as the Town of Murals.
Sheffield offers more information about each mural on a website, and the Visitor Information Center has both a map and a self-guided audio tour.
What a wonderful way to spend a morning—looking at the paintings that saved a town.