Somers has a new attraction: the Somers Totem Trail and an illustrated map to help you find your way. Somers Primary School’s arts fair organisers had to cancel the popular fair this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, they have embraced a new way to celebrate the unique character of Somers and raise vital money for the school.
Somers artist Lizzie Dennis has created a stunning map of Somers featuring 24 of the totem poles that are dotted around the town, and residents and visitors are invited to use the map – which has been printed on tea towels – to take a stroll through the town and see the beautiful totem art. The tea towels will be available for sale through the school and at selected stores on the Peninsula from early this month just in time for Christmas.
“I began appreciating how many beautiful totems were around Somers during lockdown, when walking, running and riding through the streets became the circuit breaker for me and my family,” Ms Dennis said. “We discussed creating a totem trail, an art trail for the Somers totem poles that we found on our daily adventures.”
Ms Dennis said the project helped her meet more residents and artists at a time when community connection was so difficult. “We really hope that people can enjoy walking the Somers Totem Trail, spotting totems and sharing the beauty of Somers with friends and family.”
School principal Hugh Greer said the annual Somers Arts Fair holds a special place in the school community. “Each year our arts fair raises much-needed funds for our small school, and without this additional funding we would not have been able to develop our school facilities, including resurfacing our oval, redeveloping our multipurpose room and building a nature play space for students,” Mr Greer said. “The arts fair brings together our whole school community, and this community engagement and collaboration help make our school a special place for our children to learn and develop.”
The arts fair was established in 2002 to raise money for the school and to celebrate the thriving arts community in the area. The first totem art appeared 15 years ago when artists including David Larwill, Jeff Martin, Simon White and Simone Millman designed and donated artwork and totem poles for auction at the fair, raising thousands of dollars for the school. Since then, Somers artists and talented parents have continued donating totems to the fair, with many proudly displayed in the town’s gardens and homes.
For more details, go to www.somersps.vic.edu.au