Taking art to a whole new level

Saturday 7 November 2020 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Culture, National

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Taking art to a whole new level
Artist Isabella Nicholas with her painting ‘Tranquillity’. 20110642/20110622

Local school Apii Te Uki Ou collected $35,000 from the ‘Iconic Kia Orana’ art auction.

Isabella Nicholas’ artwork titled ‘Tranquility’ fetched the highest bid at the ‘Iconic Kia Orana’ ATUO Art Auction this week.

The magnificent painting of a leaning pandanus palm with beach and blue lagoon backdrop sold for $2500 at the auction held at The Islander Hotel Thursday night.

Nicholas’ grandmother Cassie Eggelton purchased the painting.

The senior Apii Te Uki Ou student described her painting through a poem:

The sea whispers to me and I wave my leaves back.

Tranquil and calm and at peace.

My roots tickle the sand and are kissed by the ocean.

Rest your head. Doze and be content.

Nicholas said: “I have learnt a lot from the past years of being in Art Extension. This year, I was able to learn how to blend my lights and darks to make it look more 3D and to give my painting more depth. I’ve really enjoyed peered modelling and tutoring. This is my favourite subject and I can’t wait to work with Mrs Harris again next year.”

Forty students from Years 4 to 8 took part in the ATUO Art Extension programme this year. The auction had 40 paintings as well as other art work contributed by each class including preschool.

Apii Te Uki Ou principal Mark Harris said the programme and the event fundraised approximately $35,000 before expenses for the school.

Harries said the auction showed that students’ artistic ability have grown to a whole new level.

He acknowledged school teacher Shannon Harris, who developed this programme over the past four years while teaching at Apii Te Uki Ou.

“Mrs Harris works with the extension students on one day a week for two terms to help them develop their skills and create a piece of artwork they can be proud of,” Mark Harris said.

“Mrs Harris’ dedication and hard work is the driving force behind the success of these events and our student’s artistic ability has grown to a level I have not ever seen of students at primary level.”

For the first time in the history of the auction event, the school had international interest from buyers outside of the Cook Islands.

“Students and we are now seeing the quality of work. Students make 10 per cent of the sold price for themselves and their hard work. 

“Every class including our preschool contributed to the evening creating pieces of art for sale at the event. “

Principal Harris acknowledged Rohan Ellis from The Islander Hotel who hosted the event for the school and Jenna and George Tere from Picture Paradise for their contribution to the preparation of the artworks for hanging and organisation of the event.

He also thanked local artist Miriama Arnold for her involvement in the process along with teachers and parents who helped along the way.

Art teacher Shannon Harris said: “There are no words to describe how extremely proud I am of my art students this year. I feel overwhelmed at the turn out and I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a generous, supportive community. A huge thank you to everyone that was involved.”

The ATUO Art Extension programme started in term two with students learning drawing skills, painting techniques and colour theory while researching well-known artists.

Towards the end of the term, they designed their paintings, chose the size they would like to work with and prepared their board ready for painting in term three.

Some of the students whose art work were displayed have been in the Art Extension class for three or four years.