Rotorua Weekender - 2021-04-30


Art makes impact on community


Helen English Opinion Helen English is a local arts tutor.

After looking at the impact of sculptures in Rotorua, I was talking to a couple of the community about the artwork which they notice as they walk around. They asked if I had seen the painted power boxes around town and how much they love the designs. My answer was, “Oh, I’m so glad that you feel like that!” I was lucky enough to be involved in that project as the organiser and administrator, alongside the community arts adviser. It was a true community project, in that a call was made for artists. Those artist calls are for anyone who enjoys picking up a paintbrush. You can simply register on the council database or ask for information if you hear that a project is on. The designs entered for the power boxes were voted on by people representing a variety of community entities, such as art institutes, youth, Ma¯ ori, etc. The top 32 designs (yes, that many) were selected and the applicants were given instructions, inductions, materials and overalls, in order for them to undertake the task to the best of their individual ability. Three-and-a-half years later, and the designs are still making an impact on passersby. I really enjoyed being a part of that project and, following the conversation, went back and revisited some of the power box artworks around the place. They are each so different, vibrant and impactful. It’s a fantastic day when so many people are able to put their official stamp on the world that they live in.


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