No-one could be prouder of the students than their tutor, contemporary Maori artist Andrea Hopkins. NorthTec’s first students from the six month Certificate in Whakairo Maori Visual Arts and Design programme have come a long way since they began. Their “Te Puna Toi” graduation exhibition and sale of painted works and clay sculpture runs at Tuatara from 1 to 14 December.
“Many of the students on the programme are first time arts practitioners. The work they have produced after six months is amazing, and now they’re about to have their first show. It’s a mean feat and they can be proud of what they have accomplished in such a short amount of time.” Andrea said the course, which began in July this year, has received great support from Northland’s art community. Along with co-tutor Lawrence Wharerau guest lecturers have included a number of professionals such as Manos Nathan, Gordon Toi and Amorangi Hikuroa. Andrea says preparations for the exhibition are forging ahead well.
“We opened the kiln the morning before the show and we had no breakages. We have already had interested art buyers meeting directly with creators and students are beginning to see Arts as a viable career option. In six months we have created a vibrant, inclusive contemporary studio environment based on tikanga Maori. Fabulous!” she says.