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The Opotiki Youth Art Murals.
A unique relationship has developed between the youth and the public of Opotiki since the arrival of the mural project
beginning 2008. The beginning of this association was during the painting of the mudslide mural in the last term of 2007
Scores of public stepped forward to say “well done” to the youth.
This project has created a shift in perception of youth and
caused a growth and flowering of pride in young citizens.
The youth have stayed on focus and completed walls on themes which support the benefits and pleasure of living here. The artists have researched their topics, gathered books,photos and met with community members and historians.
They have held lively design workshops and worked to recreate scenes which are familiar, historic and specifically local.
This projection of youth which is colourful and fresh advances everyone.
Without art humanity thrives but can not prosper.
The existence of art and its support by the population are symbols of the
vitality of the inner impetus towards fulfilment within a society.
All human beings, rich, poor, young and old, need aspirations to give meaning to their lives.
Without it society would perish from within. The role of art is to take these aspirations from a latent impulse and translate them into physical form to be shared and used as a source of continued aspiration for all.
More photos of Murals click here............
The sense of belonging and identification which the murals have aroused
is high feeling because the work is seen as not only productive but nurturing what we have here.
“As attention to the environment awakens and people begin thinking in terms of the seeing
Opotiki is ripe for a new vision of itself.
Many people have thought that it was more of a place where one ends up than a place on would choose to live. But Opotiki is no ordinary place.
It has rich history and cultural significance with many stories to tell.
The murals are producing a profound transformation in the local mentality, one which is rapidly evolving because here we have a rich lively and colourful heritage and youth.
The murals are an educational tool in which to build for the future.
It is a surprise to the youth that they can have an impact and leave a mark on their local community and that they are capable of making a positive change.
The public are becoming aware that our urban community is our collective work reflecting what we are and how we see ourselves. As the murals proliferate they are effecting our existence here in a positive way, just as every person who plants a garden makes a gesture towards making our lives more poetic and attractive.
As the town gets dressed up the citizens see themselves differently too they are giving form to their desire for refinement. The exterior environment reveals how people feel about themselves.
Enhancement reinforces a sense of pride and dignity of belonging to a special unique place.
their homes and neighbourhoods and locality as belonging to them then a true transformation can take place.
There is every indication that the wharf mural and the environment murals at the corner shop and kindergarten are helping everyone love their community more.
Art is essential to the soul as Thomas Moore said and it is only a society that has forgotten its soul that could marginalize its arts and artists. The mural project in Opotiki is a sign of material and spiritual abundance.
Mural art contributes to the education
and awareness of the public while also creating a piece of work that expresses its subject matter and becomes an art work that the community can call its own.
Young people do not own much intheir communities and to own a mural is a powerful tool for belongingship.
People live and react with a mural each day it becomes iconic and part of the landscape of the town..
For most youth, studio art has an aura of pointlessness.
They want to go out there and to do so in a purposeful endeavour is wholesome and far reaching.
It means that the youth are alive and contributing. Youth like hands on work.
To order please send;
- $22.00 (includes postage) to Opotiki Children’s Art House Ac/no; 02 0388 0006862 083 with your name and ‘book’ in reference.
- email to firstname.lastname@example.org with name & delivery instructions or
- send cheque made out to ‘Opotiki Children’s Art House’ and send to Meg. Collins, 336 Ohiwa HarbourRd, RD2 Opotiki.
Phone 07 315 4981 All the proceeds of this 42 page full colour book will go towards creating more murals and the running the Children’s Art House
There have been many obstacles of weather, timetabling, personality and abilities to overcome.
This is both a rewarding and a very challenging project to the youth artists and to the organizers.
They have been happy to record their comments to add to this statement.
This is the story of the Youth Art
Murals in Opotiki. This project has reduced graffiti in the district,
at the same time giving the youth ownership of their work. Funded by Blue Light,
the youth of Opotiki have brightened up this small
town in the Eastern Bay of Plenty with 15 large colourful murals.
They are generous and love sharing what they are doing and making something that the people walking by can enjoy.
The Opotiki Youth have drawn in and out, corrected, altered and changed many of their thoughts and efforts, as they have worked. They have come together joyfully in a spirit of eagerness to make a bigger picture happen.
ShonaHammond Boys June 2008 Opotiki