Posts tagged ‘MIT Faculty of Creative Arts’

I STAND WITH YOU is a project developed by Luisa Tora, a third year Visual Arts student at Manukau Institute of Technology Faculty of Creative Arts in Otara, South Auckland.

Marking International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), the project features 13 artworks produced as posters for display at both the Faculty of Creative Arts and in a pop-up exhibition at Fresh Gallery Otara from 12-17 May, 2014.

I’m pleased to have partnered on this important project along with the Faculty of Creative Arts, Fresh Gallery Otara and FAF SWAG. The artists involved have produced an excellent body of work; they represent students, staff, alumni and friends of the Faculty of Creative Arts, each with a unique relationship to South Auckland.

I’ll be speaking as one of seven quick-fire lunchtime artist talks on Tuesday 13 May from 12.30pm at MIT Faculty of Creative Arts, 50 Lovegrove Crescent, Otara, South Auckland – all welcome! The project’s other public event is a lunchtime panel of LGBTQI youth service providers on Thursday 15 May at 12.30pm. On the actual IDAHOT day, Saturday 17 May, artists, friends and family are invited to morning tea at Fresh Gallery Otara at 11am.

The posters are not for sale, but check out the project’s website and contact page for enquiries.

Leave a comment

Photo by Ema Tavola

The OTARAcube is a permanent exhibition space in the Otara Town Centre; it is a 10×10 foot customised container gallery managed by Manukau Institute of Technology Faculty of Creative Arts developed with support from the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board.

A week-long event called Proudly Otara is taking place in the Otara Town Centre this week and to mark the occasion, I’ve installed a quick pop-up exhibition showcasing photos, posters, fliers and artwork from community art events that have taken place in and around the Otara Town Centre over the past decade. The material is from both my own and Fresh Gallery Otara’s archives; the Gallery’s programming since 2006 is well represented, but there is also material from Fresh Gallery Otara’s predecessor, Artnet Gallery, which ran up until 2004 and was managed by Wahine Malosi Charitable Trust. Artnet Gallery was where I cut my teeth as a curator; it was a foundation that embedded a sense of community arts service delivery and relational accountability deep into my psyche.

This past week, I was interviewed by Justin Gregory for Radio New Zealand’s weekly arts programme, Standing Room Only. In January, I presented some concerns to the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board of Auckland Council regarding the exhibition programming at Mangere Arts Centre, a community arts facility in the Mangere Town Centre. I’m concerned with the disconnect regional arts programming has with local communities under the unitary Auckland Council and that there are no public opportunities for feedback or dialogue between those who produce local arts programming and the audiences they supposedly serve. The Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board were responsive to the concerns I raised saying that similar sentiments were felt both within the Board and from community members; they planned to follow up with Auckland Council’s Arts and Culture unit to respond but as yet, I’ve heard nothing. The Manukau Courier published a story and since then, I’ve received a huge amount of support from South Auckland residents who believe strongly in what was said.

Radio New Zealand’s story was aired on Sunday 23 March and features comments from Hanna Scott, Arts and Culture Programmes manager for Auckland Council:

[audio http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sro/sro-20140323-1245-local_galleries_and_the_community-00.ogg|titles=Local Galleries and the Community, Standing Room Only, Radio New Zealand, 23 March 2014]

Interestingly, I listened to this whilst installing the Proudly Otara exhibition at the OTARAcube. Whilst the exhibition only represents a sliver of the arts and cultural events and activities that have happened in and around the Otara Town Centre since 2003, there is an overarching theme of community accountability and ownership. The voice and visibility of community aspiration and pride is at the forefront of what I’ve been fortunate enough to produce and be involved with during my time here in Manukau, South Auckland. For people who live and work here, a connection to this community is not as simple as catching a “South Auckland bus” (Hanna Scott) and relational accountability is demonstrated in action, not just words.

I’m happy that from a blog, which led to a presentation to the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board, that inspired a story in the Manukau Courier, a national radio discussion about Auckland Council’s accountability to the Mangere and wider Manukau community has happened. I’m also developing an article for an upcoming issue of The Vernacularist on the theme of community and relational accountability – watch this space!

Proudly Otara starts today in the Otara Town Centre and this morning, Toakase Women’s Group have presented an impressive display of Tongan hand-crafted adornment. There are performances, displays and activities scheduled for the Otara Town Centre stage areas throughout the week; check out the Otara Business Association Facebook page for more details.

Leave a comment

For the past month, I’ve been coordinating a public events programme called OTARAfest on behalf of the Faculty of Creative Arts at Manukau Institute of Technology here in South Auckland. It falls under the umbrella of Auckland Council’s Southside Arts Festival but as a point of difference, OTARAfest is positioned to benefit, speak to and engage Otara and South Auckland audiences first and foremost.

The newly refurbished Fresh Gallery Otara is the centre of the OTARAfest programme. The Gallery’s large open space will be used for gatherings, performances and a workshop on professional exhibition practice. Two new outdoor exhibition platforms will also be formally launched during OTARAfest; the OTARAcube – a 10×10 foot customised container located in the Otara Transport Precinct, and OTARAlights – a series of five light boxes installed in the vicinity of Fresh Gallery Otara.

Pulling together the programme for OTARAfest has been a nostalgic and heartwarming experience; so much of it reminds me of the South Auckland Pacific Arts Summit. Having worked, lived and studied in and around Otara for the past decade, it is familiar territory; there is an accountability that comes with connectedness.

OTARAfest is largely funded with the agenda of revitalising the Otara Town Centre; all but one of the events are free and many are purposefully integrated into everyday life, using outdoor and community spaces as well as the significant audience of the weekly Otara Flea Market.

I appreciate site-specificity and social, historical and political consciousness as key considerations in event delivery. I’m also excited about the new direction of MIT Faculty of Creative Arts and so pleased that its geographic and cultural context is informing and inspiring a new consideration of the value of arts education in South Auckland. Read more from Grant Thompson, Executive Dean – MIT Faculty of Creative Arts.

OTARAfest launches at Fresh Gallery Otara from 6pm on Thursday 17 October at the opening of Fresh Out of School, an exhibition featuring six new graduates from MIT Faculty of Creative Arts. All welcome!

Read more about OTARAfest events here

Leave a comment

Leilani Kake and my fundraising efforts to get to the Pacific Arts Association International Symposium in August are gaining real momentum!

A 25-day campaign on the New Zealand crowdfunding website, PledgeMe was an enormous success – we were overwhelmed with the support from our communities and networks on and offline. This initial fundraising effort attracted over $4000 of support which covers the bulk of our return airfares to Canada! A HUGE Thank You to everyone who pledged, shared, liked and retweeted to support our cause.

Part of our fundraising effort has been the design and production of a limited edition art t-shirt which we were able to hand-print using the excellent facilities at Manukau Institute of Technology. Tepora Malo, a third year student studying at the Faculty of Creative Arts worked as our intern on the project – we all learned a lot about the four color printing process and talked for long hours about art making and money making. Otara artist, activist and recent graduate, Amiria Puia-Taylor was our first choice to model the t-shirt for us. Her position on community awareness and artistic empowerment is particularly refreshing and she definitely represents the concept of REAL TALK! We also benefited from the very promising expertise of first year student, Sean Atavenitia who created our promotional photography. The whole initiative has been a really rewarding, Made in South Auckland experience!

The limited edition #2girls1conference art t-shirt is on sale now for $50!

We also have a limited amount of canvas shoulder bags for $30 and $15 repurposed jumbo tote bags from the slightly imperfect printed t-shirts!

Come find us at the GROUNDED Festival of Sustainable Arts Pop-Up Market from 10am – 5pm on Saturday 29 June, 50 Lovegrove Crescent, Otara, South Auckland, or click here to submit a sales enquiry.

Leave a comment

"Real Talk" by Tepora Malo

This is the design Leilani Kake and I have helped to develop with our excellent MIT Faculty of Creative Arts intern, Tepora Malo. Created at the Otara-based arts school, this design will be lovingly hand-printed by a team of volunteers using the Faculty’s commercial screen-printing facilities. Our aim is to produce a range of tote bags and t-shirts to support the #2girls1conference fundraising efforts to get Leilani and I to the 11th International Symposium of the Pacific Arts Association (PAA) in Canada this August.

Tepora is in the final year of her Bachelor of Creative Arts and working on the #2girls1conference fundraising campaign as part of a professional practice paper. We love her floral ‘island print’ mash-ups with leopard, zebra, text and cultural iconography and were keen to collaborate on a customised design for the campaign.

From our hashtags and conversations, stories and scribbles, Tepora came up with a design that we love a lot. Zebras, ‘island print’ and camouflage have been recurring themes in my art practice and Leilani has been planning a work using the idea of disruptive coloration for the past few years. Tepora was drawn to the term, REAL TALK, and that is exactly what we intend to take to the PAA!

Leilani and I will also have a stall at the GROUNDED: Festival of Sustainable Arts pop-up art market on Saturday 29 June at MIT Faculty of Creative Arts, 50 Lovegrove Crescent, Otara, South Auckland from 10am – 5pm. We’ll be selling t-shirts, totes and hand-made bits and pieces

Leave a comment

I’m currently writing a profile on Otara-based Samoan visual artist, Genevieve Pini for the upcoming issue of SOUTH.

Genevieve went to McAuley High School in Ōtāhuhu before studying at Manukau School of Visual Arts (now MIT Faculty of Creative Arts) and NZ Fashion Tech. She has regularly featured in South Auckland’s annual fashion competition, Cult Couture and shown numerous times at Fresh Gallery Otara.

I’ve always loved this photograph Genevieve shot in 2004. She took it at the house where she got her malu (traditional Samoan female tattoo) in Otara.I love the light on the subject’s shoulder and all the South Auckland signifiers.

I’m interested in Genevieve’s attitudes towards exhibiting, making and being tattooed, and enjoying the process of writing about her.

SOUTH is an annual publication about Māori and Pacific arts and culture in South Auckland. The upcoming issue will be launched on Saturday 12 January 2013 at Papakura Art Gallery. More info coming soon!

 

Leave a comment
%d bloggers like this: