The different sports of the Excelsior club highlighted in a new mural

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

A splash of color has revitalized a local sports club.

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

The sports club approached the 35-year-old artist wanting to breathe some life into the previously drab concrete wall.

The project took around six working days, spread over three weekends, and he and the club were happy with how it turned out.

“It differed a bit from the original design, but in a good way,” Mr. Wicks said.

”The Excelsior club is super happy with it and that’s the main thing. I would never stop a mural until they feel happy too.

The club weren’t the only ones to appreciate the mural, he said.

”The feedback I’ve received from passers-by and online has been super positive, so it makes me feel like I’ve done a good job too.”

The only briefing he received was that the club wanted to highlight every sport the club offered – pétanque, rugby, netball, squash and cricket.

“At the moment on the front of the building there is the very old sign, I think it says ‘Excelsior Rugby and Squash’ but there are three other sports that are played here now. It was important that everyone was really well represented.

The club were already planning to extend the mural to the front wall of the club rooms, but did not want to reveal too much about the planned design, Mr Wicks said.

“I’ll keep it close to my chest for now.

“I haven’t revealed anything, but it will be a similar theme on the front, just to carry that color and black all the way 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 pieces of art and big pieces of art popping up around the square. So that’s what I want to see in the next 10-20 years is this city completely different than it is now – just art everywhere like you see in Christchurch and Dunedin – popping up in alleys and behind buildings and all kinds of places, that’s what I’m trying to achieve with this.”

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