Excelsior club’s various sports highlighted in new mural

Colour me impressed ... Local artist Matthew Wicks (35) standing in front of the mural he painted at Excelsior Sports Club.

A pop of colour has revitalised a local sports club.

Oamaru artist Matthew Wicks, also known as Wicksey, put the finishing touches on a vibrant new mural along the side of the Excelsior Sports clubrooms over the weekend.

The sports club approached the 35-year-old artist wanting to add some life to the previously dull concrete wall.

The project took about six days’ work, across three weekends, to complete, and both he and the club were happy with the way it turned out.

‘‘It differed from the original design a little bit, but in a good way,’’ Mr Wicks said.

‘‘The Excelsior club is super happy with it and that’s the main thing. I’d never stop a mural until they felt they were happy as well.’’

The club were not the only ones who have enjoyed the mural, he said.

‘‘The feedback I’ve been getting from passers›by and online as well has been super positive, so that makes me feel like I’ve done a good job as well.’’

The only brief he was given was the club wanted to highlight each sport the club offered — petanque, rugby, netball, squash and cricket.

‘‘At the moment, on the front side of the building, it’s got the very old sign, I think it says ‘Excelsior Rugby and Squash’ but there’s three more sports that are played here now. Itwas important that each one was represented really well.’’

The club was already planning on extending the mural to the front wall of the clubrooms, but didn’t want to reveal too much of the planned design, Mr Wicks said.

‘‘I’ll keep it close tomy chest at the moment.

‘‘I haven’t revealed anything, but it’ll be a similar theme on the front, just to carry that colour and the black through to the front of the building as well.’’

Mr Wicks hoped to see more artists given the opportunity to design public murals.

‘‘It’s just great to see little bits of art and big bits of art popping up around the place. So that’s what I want to see in the next 10 to 20 years, is this town just completely different to what it is now — just art everywhere like you see in Christchurch and Dunedin — cropping up in alleyways and behind buildings and all sorts of places, that’s what I’m trying to achieve with this.’’