Art Action endures at Festival of Elements
Themes, performers, food and people will always be changing at Waitangi Day’s Festival of the Elements but one thing is a constant - the hugely popular Art Action.
This year Art Action will take over the large gymnasium at Te Rauparaha Arena and coordinator Esmee Eliastito could not be happier.
‘‘It’s always humming and to have all that room to ourselves for all the different stalls and activities to spread out is just fantastic,’’ she said.
It may not be an exaggeration to say that most children in Porirua have had a go at Art Action at some point in their lives.
The activities are aimed for kids up to 12 and this year feature Porirua GymSports, making ‘‘funky junk’’ creations, a newspaper fashion show, sculptures, paper plane launching, a puppet show, Nerf gun target practice and much more.
Eliastito said it was a place where imaginations could run wild and children could be found doing a single activity for what seems like hours, or jumping from one to another.
‘‘What we ultimately want is families to come down and have fun. Yes, there’s heaps to do outside [on Te Rauparaha Park] with entertainment and food and performers, but mums and dads always know they can pop in to Art Action to keep the young ones occupied for a while.
‘‘They can make things and take them home. It’s pretty cool.’’
This was Eliastito’s seventh year organising Art Action and said her team of Michelle Whale and dedicated volunteers - family, friends and a number of ring-ins - made it all possible.
It takes about 12 hours to set up Art Action and more than a few hours to pack away.
It is a familiar story as to how she first became involved. She knew the previous organisers well, was asked one year to help out, and now Eliastito is running it.
‘‘I love the creativity and the energy.
‘‘Sometimes I try and get above the gym and look down - it’s an incredible scene of colour and fun and people.’’
Preparation began six months ago, sourcing recyclable materials and checking that groups such as Titahi Bay Playcentre were keen to be involved yet again.
Art Action runs from 11am till 5pm.
Toa Lualua, left, helps Ioana Ponita to make a lei as part of Art Action at Festival of the Elements in 2010.