School’s Christ­mas ‘art cave’ a cracker

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

Ab­so­lutely as­ton­ish­ing. It was im­pos­si­ble to walk into Winch­ester School hall last week with­out at least mouthing the word ‘‘Wow!’’

Take a year’s worth of school art – a plethora of paint­ings, pa­pier mache in­sects and spi­ders, pa­perbag houses, pa­per lanterns, pom-pom trolls, clay hedge­hogs and tur­tles, stuffed toys, flax kites, bead mar­i­onettes, card­board masks – and dis­play it all to­gether in one, ad­mit­tedly rather large, room, and the re­sult is a colour­ful and un­de­ni­able ‘‘Wow!’’

The hall was trans­formed into a glo­ri­ous Aladdin’s Cave of art­work for the school’s end of year Fes­ti­val of Arts. Be­cause it was taken over by vis­ual arts, the end of year per­form­ing arts com­po­nent of the fes­ti­val – kapa haka, dance, choral, drama and ukulele took place across the road in the Re­formed Church build­ing.

Prin­ci­pal Dan Mur­phy says it has been four years since the school has had the art dis­play.

‘‘We usu­ally do it ev­ery two years, but it makes it more mag­i­cal when you do it like this.’’

The work that has been put into dec­o­rat­ing the hall is ad­mirable in it­self, with each class re­spon­si­ble for an area. The kalei­do­scopic ef­fect of their com­bined ef­forts is mag­i­cal.

As part of the fes­ti­val, the school’s top three artists were also ac­knowl­edged with cer­tifi­cates and hav­ing their paint­ings framed to hang in the school. The hon­ours went to Lucia Kear­ney, 11, for year 5 and 6; Amanda Popovich, 9, for year 3 and 4 and Milan Glint­meyer, 7, for year 1 and 2.

Their work will join a framed col­lec­tion of chil­dren’s art hang­ing through­out the ad­min­is­tra­tion block, var­i­ous of­fices and cor­ri­dors, that Dan says goes back 20 years.

‘‘Art is an im­por­tant part of any child’s ed­u­ca­tion.’’

‘‘We’re quite an in­ter­na­tional school with chil­dren here from many coun­tries and sev­eral refugee fam­i­lies.’’

He says art is one way of help­ing con­nect the di­verse na­tion­al­i­ties , and the im­pact of the massed dis­played re­sults was truly strik­ing.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Winch­ester School’s top artists show their art­work in the hall, from left, Lucia Kear­ney, 11, with ‘‘Pop­pies on the Battlefield’’; Milan Glint­meyer, 7, with ‘‘Tui’’; Amanda Popovich, 9, with ‘‘Drag­on­fly’’.

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