Community & Environment Culture & Events

Environmental artwork reflects libraries, schools and art group partnership

A beautiful new environmentally themed artwork was unveiled today in Hillcrest, the fruits of a collaboration between Hamilton City Libraries, two schools and Artmakers Community Artists Trust.

The artwork, made from recycled materials with support from local businesses, consists of 10 weather-proofed wooden panels mounted on six pou beside Hillcrest Stadium on the corner of Cambridge Rd and Wairere Dr.

The idea for the artwork was developed by libraries staff as part of efforts to innovate and collaborate with other organisations.

“We wanted to engage with youth and give them an artistic voice,” says Children’s and Teens’ Librarian Aaron Martin.

Artmakers Director Sylvie Bolstad worked with pupils from Hillcrest High School and Patricia Ave School to develop designs that incorporate the likes of native birds, insects and plants.

The pupils loved being involved, says Mr Martin: “The kids told us this was the thing they looked forward to the most at school and they loved the idea of having work in a public space.”

Mrs Bolstad says the project is another example of Artmakers community collaborations to bring artwork to the city.

“This particular artwork is part of our series engaging young people – so the whole idea is each one of them is contributing to the theme, and we all work together making decisions on what to have in it.

“If there’s people with different levels of ability, we focus on what they need to reinforce their execution of the work – and everyone owns it together,” she says.

“It’s the ‘community building’ aspect of this that is special.”

The artwork faces out on to Wairere Drive, only a few blocks from Patricia Ave School, and Deputy Principal Christina Bartlett says many of the school’s students would pass their artwork on a regular basis – and point out their involvement to friends and family.

It was unveiled by students from the school, and blessed by Hamilton City Council’s Kaumatua Tame Pokaia.

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