Thursday, 16 July 2020


Street Art Project now complete as school murals are unveiled

The beautiful work of hundreds of local children is represented in the Schools Street Art Project which was finally unveiled last week after months of effort from the students involved.

The series of seven murals has been installed along the walkway linking Blacksmith Lane and Taylor’s Mistake and represents the collective contribution of the young people of the area to the Whitianga Street Art project completed by Mercury Bay Art Escape. Coordinator, Jane Parson, former Art Escape trustee said she was astounded by the quality of the work produced.

“It was also wonderful to see the learning and education that the children had clearly done around the Tuia 250 event represented in the art. I know there was an education program for schools but it really is a credit to the teachers who have embraced this opportunity to help students learn about their history and where they come from,” she said.

Working with the themes Encounters and Navigation, schools were allowed to interpret the brief in whatever way related best to them. “Some of the schools took a collaborate approach involving all students. Others selected some of their most talented artists to create their mural. We are so thrilled with the results. This is the final part of the overall Street Art project, it was very important to us that the project was all inclusive so having our young people represented is wonderful,” said Jane.

The participants were Mercury Bay Area School, Te Rerenga School, Whenuakite School, Coroglen School, Central Kids Whitianga and Whenuakite Country Kids. Combined as a series, the children’s work brings to life many of the Tuia 250 Encounters principles in a colourful and vibrant way.

“Our mural is a representation of life at our community centre. At first glance our mural is vibrant, bright and busy, as are the moments our tamariki spend in our centre. However, this Tuia 250 mural project has provided the perfect platform for us to explore different aspects of our experiences living in this area, rich in cultural history, exceptional coastlines and amidst our diverse communities,” said Jasmine Lockhart, Kaiako at Whenuakite Country Kids Community Centre. “We are very proud of our mahi. It has been a truly collaborative learning journey, one which has shaped our shared knowledge and understanding of our past, as we look to our bright future, here in this place,” she added.

One of two murals created by Mercury Bay Area School is “The Compass Star” created by Mercury Bay Area School students Monique Selfe-Louis, Cheryse Pincham, Pippa McEwen and Erin Martin under the guidance of their teacher Janet Hoogwerf. It follows the commemoration purposes of Tuia 250 – recognising extraordinary voyaging traditions and the coming together of cultures. Coroglen School featured, a long white cloud, the two islands of New Zealand, Tane Mahuta and icons of modern New Zealand including the Sky Tower into their mural which merged the work of all the Year 5 to Year 8 students.

Jane acknowledged Placemakers, Whitianga who provided the panels and Resene ColorShop, Whitianga, who sponsored the paint for the murals. The Street Art Project also features a range of public murals by local artists which were the subject of a Street Art Festival earlier this year. The student section has been added later to allow more time for the schools to complete the work. The project was funded by the Lottery Tuia - Encounters 250 Programme via the Mercury 250 Trust.

Pictured: The seven murals on the Schools Community Wall, the final part of the Tuia 250 Whitianga Street Art project, was unveiled last week.


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