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Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson Trust will see Hasting's school receive a $10,000 Treemendous School Makeover in 2016

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A joint initiative between the Mazda Foundation and Project Crimson Trust will see four schools receive a $10,000 Treemendous School Makeover in 2016. Each of the winning schools - Argyll East, Wyndham Primary, Discover School and St Joseph’s School - will receive "an environmentally focused outdoor education space for students to learn and explore" along with a native tree-planting working bee.

Joris de Bres, chairman of the Project Crimson Trust, say it’s "nice to see schools around the country embracing the importance of conservation and outdoor education".

Andrew Clearwater, chairman of the Mazda Foundation, describes all entries as being of exceptional standard. "All of the entries we received this year were of high calibre, and showcased the creativity and enthusiasm for the environment in schools around the country".

Mark Thompson, principal of Hawke’s Bay school Argyll East, says they are "over the moon" to receive a makeover. The school will continue to restore the banks of the Mangaotai Stream running alongside it. New pathways will be added, leading to a specially designed eel platform and "weta hotels" will encourage more insects to the garden.

Southland’s Wyndham Primary will cover an unused area into a native garden, bush plot and an outdoor classroom. The space will encourage wildlife to the area with hopes the trees will shelter and entice native birds. Fruit trees will also be planted to teach students the importance of growing their own food.

Principal Kim Scott says: "Our students are enthusiastic about the environment and sustainability, and can’t wait to see all the native birds the garden will attract. It’s going to be great to see their creative ideas turn into reality."

Discovery School in Whitby plans to build an outdoor classroom along with the creation of a lizard habitat and the expansion of their existing orchard. A bird-watching bench will also be built for students to learn about different bird species.

St Joseph’s in Temuka will be planting large amounts of native trees, and will also build a tree hut so children can play among native plants. Large boulders will also be used to form an outdoor classroom.

Hawke's bay art students to showcase project based learning.

Rebecca Stone and Liam Treadwell

Rebecca Stone and Liam Treadwell mobilise for EIT ideaschool’s graduate exhibition. 

The first students to enrol in New Zealand’s first project-based-learning arts and design degree are fine-tuning work for ideaschool’s graduate exhibition A Feast for the Senses.

The cohort of 34 students, the largest graduating class in EIT’s three-year Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design, are working on paintings, sculptures, limited edition prints, films and other works for the idea showcase Graduate Exhibition to be held at CAN (Community Arts Napier) from November 21-25. 

Rebecca Stone and Liam Treadwell believe they and their classmates will have an edge over graduates from other art and design schools as they look for jobs in the creative industries. 

As would-be students, they found the excitement of ideaschool lecturers around the newly-establishing degree was infectious.  They were also attracted to EIT by the Year 13 degree scholarship.

“Now other art and design schools in New Zealand are introducing the project-based learning approach,” says Rebecca, a 21-year-old from Wairoa.  “I feel we have a head start with employers.” 

Over the course of their degree, ideaschool’s visual arts and students undertake a series of real-life projects designed to develop their practical skills, techniques and theoretical knowledge while equipping them with the know-how required for working in and developing and managing their own practices.

In a lecturer-facilitated environment, they work collaboratively and at times independently on projects that become progressively more challenging.

The students are encouraged to polish their problem-solving, research and decision-making skills while learning how to market themselves, write proposals, deal with commissions, budget, interact with clients, work with other creative specialists and pace their processes to meet deadlines.

 “The degree offers an academic element,” says Rebecca, “while allowing students to experiment with a range of disciplines.”

Liam believes it suits students who, like him, come from school and still have to find out who they are as artists.

“You can try different things in the first year, narrow that down in the second and by the third year you feel you know what you are doing down the road,” says the 20-year-old from Taradale.

Liam is currently basing his practice around illustration – “somewhere between design and fine art” – while for Rebecca the work predominantly focuses on a drawing practice, currently portraiture. 

“I came here thinking I was just a visual artist but now I realise how much I enjoy design as well,” she says.

Returning to her fine art roots, she has submitted a work depicting an uncle, rendered in coloured pencil and a touch of paint, for the upcoming exhibition.

Rebecca feels there is still more to explore before she considers entering the industry.

“I have been exploring my creative side and want more world experiences before coming back and finding something locally.”

Liam would love to work in a design firm and build his reputation before going into business for himself.

“I hope to freelance and then create my own style from there,” he says.  “To have a career you enjoy and make art – that’s what makes you tick.”

 

Hawke's Bay academic's film premieres at international festival.

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EIT filmaker and lecturer Nigel Roberts. Photo: supplied,

A short film by EIT ideaschool lecturer Nigel Roberts has screened in an international experimental film and video festival in Spain.

Programme coordinator for the Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design at the region's main tertiary education institute, Nigel is “very happy” to have had his film selected for the Bideodromo 2015 festival, which featured experimental films, including documentary, narrative, animation, video art and other genres, screening at three venues in Bilbao.

The four-minute work, entitled T.O.T. for Tip of the Tongue, includes sound effects but no storyline or dialogue.

“The viewer might ask, where have the words gone?” says Nigel, who believes the role of the experimental filmmaker is to cross boundaries, challenging notions of what video is and isn’t and what it could be.

“I like the ambiguity of what I do. I’m not interested in a clear, easily comprehensible narrative; I like to step outside normal expectations and, in playing with the edge of reason or explanation, to leave my audience slightly bamboozled.”

Nigel has always found film a fascinating medium. He was in his mid-teens when he made his first film with a friend, using a camera given to her by her grandfather.

“We were inspired by early American efforts, such as those featuring Charlie Chaplin, to make a stop motion film. Our setting was the Taradale shopping centre.”

Later, living in a tower block in East London, Nigel was “a jack of all trades” on film sets, helping young experimental artists who were seriously into film. Back in New Zealand he became involved with music events, played around with slide projectors and early digital film mixing and worked on visuals for bands and dance parties.

These days, he says, lap tops and digital cameras have made it easier to pursue video as an art form and for artists to put their visual thoughts into the ether.

Unlike mainstream cinema, experimental films attract their own artistic fringe. Nonetheless, there are hundreds of thousands “doing it out there”.

Nigel considers it important for art teachers to demonstrate that they are working on their own art practices.

The learning for ideaschool’s screen production students is industry-focused, he points out, while visual arts and design students create their films from an artistic point of view.

“That doesn’t necessarily rely on any convention. It’s about taking the tools you have and exploring what you can do with them. There are no rules.”

You can watch Tip of the Tongue at https://vimeo.com/120419199

Pink playhouse wins Napier's Tamatea High School $1000

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Tamatea High students with their award-winning playhouse, which was donated to Morgan Educare Centre in Flaxmere. Photo: BCITO.


Tamatea High School in Napier has won $1000 worth of prizes in the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation's (BCITO) annual national "Build-Ability Challenge".

Rotorua Boys’ High School were the big winners in the nationwide competition, in which 24 schools had to not only design and build a playhouse to be gifted to a local community group, but also had to maintain a video diary and blog about their progress throughout the challenge.

Rotorua Boys' won all three of the national awards - the Supreme title, People's Choice award and Best Video award - for an impressive castle-themed playhouse for Kidz Rock Early Learning Centre. The school was awarded a $1,000 voucher for their Technology Department, a GoPro camera for the school and individual prize packs for each team member. They were also awarded a “team shout” to the value of $300.

Tamatea High won the Best Decorated Playhouse Award, sponsored by Dulux, who have donated the school various paint products to the value of $1,000 for its pinkish-purple playhouse, which was recently delivered to Morgan Educare Centre in Flaxmere.

David Thompson (HOD technology at Tamatea High School) was asked some questions this afternoon

What skills do you think the students picked up during the challenge?

“The most important was the planning stage – the students had to foresee potential problems and improve their practical skills… they also knew they had to make it work from a safety point of view for the kindergarten kids.”

Why did you choose to donate the playhouse to the kindergarten?

“We knew of this kindergarten –it’s in a fairly low socioeconomic area and they really needed to replace an older playhouse. When this competition came about it was a perfect opportunity to brighten their day and they were absolutely delighted.”

What was the kids’ reaction to winning?

“The students were very happy – it was the icing on the cake after a very challenging project.”

Over 500 Hawke's Bay children celebrate One Love Polyfest in Flaxmere

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More than 500 youngsters turned it on today as they embraced the culture of others at the One Love Polyfest in Flaxmere.

It's an event that aims to help promote unity and respect for other island nations.

Students from all over Hastings came together under one roof to embody the meaning of “One Love”.

It's a festival with humble beginnings, but after five years, it's gone from strength-to-strength as song and dance from cultures of different Polynesian islands are celebrated.

Annamarie Faavae says, “Really into it, they are really into it.  We've only got a handful of Pasifika students the rest are Māori and European, so bringing them all together has just been awesome.”

Organisers say holding an event that celebrates diversity in the community can only be a positive thing for the people of Flaxmere.

Traci Tuimaseve says, “Rather than suppress or ignore those cultures, I think it’s a good opportunity to embrace it and culture is a good a big part of moving forward here in Flaxmere.”

It's an event that the young faces of tomorrow can be themselves, and a chance for them to proud of their roots.

 

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