The parents jaws dropped: they couldn’t believe their children and their children’s classmates had so much talent.
This week Apii Te Uki Ou displayed 47 paintings by the school’s students – including one beautiful painted table – in an art exhibition and auction.
Paul Akava entered Picture Paradise, where the paintings were displayed, and was blown away to see his 11-year-old daughter Adriana’s painting.
“I was shocked,” he says. “It’s beautiful, it’s like an adult’s painting to me.”
Adriana loves art, he says, and does a bit of painting at home. Artwork is something that runs in the family, whether it’s being a tattoo artist or simply painting.
Adriana’s painting was based on paradise parrots where two parrots sat on the branch of a tree looking at each other.
“I love art,” she explains. “I love colours, rainbows and the parrot is my favourite bird.”
Adriana was happy to have her work included in the art exhibition, but was also nervous and had no clue what to do. She attended the art extension classes to complete her piece and was so proud of herself when she finally did.
The highest price was $2000 paid for ‘King of the Rasta’, painted by 13-year-old Juleo Teuu. The painting was inspired by another painting on his wall of a lion. He chose the red, yellow and green Rasta colours, because Bob Marley is his favourite singer.
Art teacher Shannon Harris said the exhibition was held to fundraise for the school to provide art resources for each class, as well as support the school’s maintenance. More than $20,000 was raised.
Eight-year-old Liam Murray-Hill chose a style of painting to represent Cook Islands tradition, and also, deep down, it shows the favourite colours of his mum and sister.
It shows the unique connection of his family and how much it means to him, he says.
The three flowers are his family, where the orange colour is his mother’s favourite, purple is his sisters and blue is his favourite.
Maren Nicholas, 12, chose to paint a banana tree because he thought it would be fun and he loves fruit trees and loves planting with his dad.
Nicholas says he enjoys painting especially adding the different colours, reds and greens, and how every colour overlaps. He says painting is a crazy, fun and messy adventure.