Mossburn folk are excited to see how award-winning artist Mauricio Benega will depict the rural Southland town in a huge new mural.

The South American-born artist, whose work features in collections all over the world, will begin painting the mural on the side of the Mossburn Farmlands store on Sunday.

It will be the ninth mural commissioned by Farmlands under the rural supply chain's HeART of the Community project, which it says is all about capturing the local spirit, history and environment of small towns and provincial cities around the nation.

Paeroa, Invercargill, Putaruru, Gisborne, Dannevirke, Kaikoura, Taumarunui and Taihape have already benefitted from HeART of the Community murals.


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With Mossburn's rich history, Mauricio won't be short of inspiration to choose from.

The town, which is about 60km from Te Anau and on the doorstep of beautiful Fiordland, is known as the deer capital of New Zealand, having been the first area in the country to start capturing deer and farming them.

It is also the birthplace of Chewing's Fescue, a type of grass created by local farmer George Chewing in the 1880s to grow well on low fertility, highly acidic soils.

Mauricio expects to take a week to complete the mural and says he's looking forward to meeting some of the locals "who I hear are a very friendly and hospitable bunch".

Now based in Hastings, Mauricio moved to New Zealand from Brazil in 2004. He has competed in art and comic contests around the world.