TEN arts-fuelled days are in store for Murwillumbah when the town's art trail embraces painting, performance, sculpture, film, dance, street celebrations, food and wine. With the theme Moving On, MAT18 is out to help Murwillumbah economically as well as visually and spiritually.
That's especially important after the massive destructive flood of 2017.
MAT18 sponsorship manager Suzi Bourke, of Cabarita, is among a team of volunteers staging the celebration.
"MAT18 aims to provide a venue for artists - something all types of artists need,” she says.
"As an artist it is hard to become visible, even though it seems like social media can do everything for all types of business. An event really propels interest in creativity and provides a viewing space.
"Creativity is so undervalued but important in our world.
The value of innovative and creative producers is incalculable.
"Art provokes, sooths or celebrates - it attends all of the emotions and records society unwittingly. It is so important but often struggles to justify its value in society.” MAT18 will run from May 18 to 27 with a program that's sure to appeal to a range of ages and types of people.
"It is both family-friendly and mardi gras - depending on which event you attend or whether you just wander the streets' pop-up galleries.
There will be maps provided and town guides wandering the streets,” Suzi said.
"Spending a day in Murwillumbah gazing at art for free and sitting down at one of the wonderful lunch cafes in town is a fabulous way to spend the day.
"The drive to Murwillumbah from any direction is a wonderful scenic tour in itself. If you plan a three-day tour, there are so many places to stop at on the way.”
Suzi encourages retirees to be involved in MAT18 through volunteering.
"I put my hand up after the last trail, suggesting I could help,” she said.
"It is lovely working with people who are motivated to help a community.
They are the salt of the earth and beautiful people who don't seek any returns or glory.” Suzi has been a practising artist from the age of 10.
"I painted whilst hiding in my parents' car parked in the back of their takeaway shop in Geelong, Victoria,” she said.
"I became a secondary teacher of English and attended various short evening courses on different types of creative pursuits but, when I retired and moved to Cabarita Beach, I took up painting again.”
"I grabbed a little space under our big outdoor area and set up my easel and paintbox and haven't moved since.”
MAT18 website themurwillumbah arttrail.com/ includes recommended accommodation places, the art trail program and bookings to ticketed events.