Art gives local feel to community hub
Artworks adorning Stokes Valley’s new community hub show the connection between the centre and the locals it serves, says Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace.
The Koraunui Stokes Valley Community Hub was opened and handed over to the community on October 27 when a ribbon was cut beneath a ‘‘fantastic’’ Ma¯ori carving.
Wallace said the art on display throughout the building told local stories and showed how the community had ‘‘got right behind’’ the new hub.
One of the art projects featured at the centre incorporates more than 400 tiles decorated by Stokes Valley school children.
The tile project was led by Dowse Art Museum educator Jolie DeGaia who worked with students from Tui Glen, Koraunui and Tawhai schools.
Each tile contained a figure and a mix of colours, patterns and pictures that represented each child.
She said having the childrens’ artwork inside the centre would permanently link them and their families with the hub.
‘‘The idea was to fill them with something the kids liked, something they related to. It was a way of connecting them to the hub. We wanted to get them invested in the hub by giving them a permanent presence in the space.
The carving at the entrance way was done by Sam Hauwaho and Sonny Davis and was created in consultation with the local Koraunui Marae.
It features tu¯puna ancestors, the ‘‘four winds’’ that represent the diversity of tribes that came to the area, a pair of Tu¯ı¯ – an abundant icon of Stokes Valley, and the Koraunui turnip which was historically an important food for people in the valley.
Also on display are a series of large paintings of native birds by former Naenae College art teacher Joe McMenamin and a mural on the south wall of the hub painted by young people from Sto- kes Valley which was overseen by artist Chevron Hassett.
The opening featured speeches performances and blessings in English and Ma¯ori. About 200 people including 60 local students attended.
Wallace said the hub was a big improvement on the old facilities which were dated and ‘‘not fit for purpose’’.
The community’s input throughout the process had ensured they got the hub they wanted and deserved, and he was sure it would be well used and loved by people in the area.
The Hutt City Community Facilities Trust was given a $6.5 million budget by Hutt City Council to complete the Koraunui Stokes Valley Community Hub which was scheduled to come in under budget.
The hub will house the Stokes Valley library, toy library, community house, hall, Plunket and the Police community constable.
Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace admires the carving at the newly opened Koraunui Stokes Valley Community Hub.