Kids, art and community

A tiki mural, robot sculptures, botanical paintings and more recently took centre stage at a busy community shopping centre.

The work of young artists from 17 local schools was the main attraction at NorthWest Shopping Centre from 11–17 September.

The North West Cluster Art Exhibition included the work of students from 16 primary schools and one secondary school, making up the majority of schools in the North West Cluster.

The theme of the 2017 exhibition was Heal the World, which students interpreted in many different ways, using their choice of media.

The exhibition has been running for eight years but this was the first time it had been held at the shopping centre, which provided a cost-free space in a location that is easily accessible and central to the school cluster.

Robert Taylor, principal of Colwill School in Massey, was instrumental in establishing the exhibition, one purpose of which, he says, is to get students inspired to create art.

“During my career, I have witnessed the real value that hands-on visual arts practices bring to students as part of their overall education.

Participating in art has the ability to broaden minds, encourage creativity, and allow a moment away from textbooks to exercise other important senses.

“The exhibition is intended to help keep students involved in and excited about art, and to showcase the talents of children and young people in the area – there is no barrier to artistic ability, so viewing and participating in art should be accessible to all. We are hugely grateful to NorthWest for hosting this exhibition and helping us to shine a spotlight on the importance of art in education.”

NorthWest Shopping Centre senior marketing manager Linh Luong says, “As a community hub we are extremely pleased to celebrate and showcase the artwork of local primary and high schoolers.

Thousands of people come through NorthWest every week and we have selected two of the busiest areas to stage the exhibition, so as many people as possible can view and appreciate our local students’ talents.

“What’s more, we’re looking into making a long-term commitment to support the creativity of local students by displaying their art at the centre. The idea is for the centre to function as an art gallery of sorts, highlighting contributing students and their schools and adding new pieces regularly. Our intention is to set this up shortly after the exhibition and we will be talking to Rob and the school cluster to find out what will work best for them.”

Participating schools include Colwill School in Massey, Lincoln Heights School, Swanson School, Waimauku School, Waitakere School, Don Buck School, Huapai School, Riverhead School, ACG – Sunderland, Taupaki School, West Harbour School, Hare Krishna School, Royal Road School, Massey Primary, St Paul’s School, Massey High School, and Hobsonville School.

 

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