International artist withdraws from Rochester Mural Festival

By Anna McGuinness

There is a late change to the line-up for the Rochester Mural Festival this weekend.

International artist Wei Luan has pulled out of the festival because of concerns over coronavirus.

The Chinese national lives in Vancouver, which has seen multiple confirmed cases, and is too scared to travel as a result.

Organiser Judy Anderson said Wei’s wife Yanie was not going to work and the couple were laying low at home to avoid contamination, leaving only to buy groceries.

Despite a dramatic lead-up, Judy said it was “full steam ahead” this weekend.

In his place will be Tongala’s Murray Ross and Echuca’s Jill Conway, who work together on street art in Tongala and will compete as a pair.

In a fortuitous twist, Murray wanted to be involved in the festival but missed the deadline to enter, meaning he has got a miniature mural ready to go.

“We’re both excited and looking forward to meeting the other artists,” Murray said.

“We really like working together and encourage people to visit both Tongala and Rochester and see it as an opportunity to promote both areas.”

With such late notice, Murray’s got some workshops booked during the festival but it’s something he’s happy to work around and be involved.

Despite Wei not being able to travel, it is hoped his exhibitions in Rochester and Echuca will still go ahead.