YARRAM has been named as the best place in Australia to experience a collection of stunning street murals.

The town won the Gold Award in the highly coveted Best Street Art Trail category at the 2020 Australian Street Art Awards last Tuesday, March 2 on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The Australian Street Art Awards encourage Australians to explore safely accessible, world-class street and public art all-year round.

Yarram recently adopted the moniker of Heesco Town in honour of the Melbourne-based street and silo artist who has transformed it into Australia’s newest and hottest art destination. Most of the 17 outdoor murals painted to date were completed during the initial COVID lockdown from March 2020, a period during which some places curled into a foetal position.

The judges said: “We love that Yarram pulled up its socks, strapped on its thinking cap and turned to street art as a secret weapon during this period.

“Along the way, they created hope, joy, a blaze of colour and an Australian first.”

Yarram is the only town in Australia adorned with so many works by the one artist.

“It is highly commendable that Yarram chose to commission the one muralist to paint all their street art, ensuring that the resulting works would all be high quality and of a uniform style while creating a unique identity for the town,” the judges said.

Awards director Liz Rivers said the winning artworks were contributing to making Victoria an even more vibrant, creative and interesting state.

Arts tourists from within Australia are high-value visitors. They stay 42.8 per cent longer and spend 55.9 per cent more when travelling than domestic tourists overall, according to the Australia Council for the Arts’ Domestic Art Tourism: Connecting the Country 2020 Report.

“Public art has now come into its own with people journeying hundreds or sometimes thousands of kilometres to experience a silo art trail, see a mural town or photograph a sculpture in an extraordinary landscape,” Ms Rivers said.

“Free outdoor activities have also gained favour over the past year. That makes trips to see murals, sculptures, monuments and mega pieces like silo art the perfect holiday thrill,” she said.