Artist Eric Sesto returned to his hometown of Tooborac and painted a public artwork to inspire residents interested in art. ​

An artist who grew up in Tooborac and has gone on to paint artworks in six different countries has returned to his hometown to create a mural.

Artist Eric Sesto’s mural at Tooborac Recreation Reserve features a kangaroo, an Eastern Rosella as well as Regent Honeyeater set among the native plants and iconic boulders of Tooborac and surrounds.

Sesto first approached Mitchell Shire Council with the idea and draft designs after returning to Tooborac during the COVID pandemic.

Following endorsement from the Tooborac Recreation Reserve Committee of Management, council sought further community input on design and the proposed location of the mural.

“When I was a kid in Tooborac, I was disconnected from the world of art. The only paintings I had seen were at my grandma’s house and in the studio of one artist who lived in the town,” Sesto said.

“I felt strongly that Tooborac deserved some art and the youth who grew up there should be exposed to paintings.

“I have painted artworks in six countries now and it seemed strange that I had not painted anything in my hometown.

“No matter where I go in the world, Tooborac’s undulating landscape that is idyllic as it is rough, is something I fall in love with again and again, and I really wanted to capture that.”

Artist Eric Sesto, second left, with Tooborac Recreation Reserve Committee of Management president Belinda Hagan, second from right, and Mitchell Shire councillors Rhonda Sanderson, far left, and Bill Chisholm, in front of Sesto’s mural at Tooborac. ​

The mural took Sesto about 100 hours to complete, during which he was visited by many community members interested in what he was up to.

Students at Tooborac Primary School were keen observers as they watched the artwork come together over the fence at lunch time.

“I had not expected such a big positive response from the kids at Tooborac Primary who each wrote me thank you letters,” Sesto said

“I would love to be supported in the future to make more pieces around the Mitchell Shire, particularly bigger ones.”

Mitchell Shire Mayor Fiona Stevens said council greatly appreciated that Sesto offered his incredible talent to display in his hometown.

“We now have public artwork in Mitchell Shire by an accomplished international artist,” she said.

“This unique and beautiful pictorial representation of our local environment and landscape is now for all to see.

“The input and commitment from the community, particularly the Committee of Management led by President Belinda Hagan, was a crucial component for the success of this project and demonstrates how community, council and other stakeholders can work positively together.

“Public artworks generate interest and conversations by both locals and passers-by, which brings attention and economic benefit to the towns where they’re located.

“We are very proud to have this unique project and the benefit it will bring.”

The project is the first artwork since Mitchell Shire Council developed its public arts policy, which ensures all future public art projects proposed are approved and overseen by Mitchell Shire Council to ensure the outcome meets the expectations of the community.

To see more of Sesto’s artwork, people can visit his Instagram page @eric_sesto.