Art for travel dream
Sixty-five Flaxmere youngsters are off on the trip of their young lives in December — and they are putting their hearts and souls into making it happen.
The pinnacle of their fundraising efforts will be an art auction, being held this month.
All 65 Irongate School Year 7 and 8 students — Puawai syndicate — are heading to remote Miru Miru Marae in Marokopa, only accessible by barge, about 150km north of New Plymouth on the west coast.
The five-day educational trip will focus on culture, the sciences, whakapapa links, and the similarities and differences between the two coasts.
“There are a lot of questions for the kids to answer,” says deputy principal and teacher Tony McCann.
“Why the black sand on that coast? Why is the nı¯kau palm predominant over there? Why the differences in the wildlife in the two areas? How are some or our families linked to that coast? There is so much to learn.”
And of, course, there is all the learning leading up to the journey. The children have been making formal presentations to businesses and artists, and proving hugely successful at getting sponsorship and works of art for the massive fund-raising art evening.
The school is on track to have 60 art works on the night of November 22, all up for auction.
And there are some great pieces to choose from, including two limited edition prints by Aroha and Friends artist Rakai Karaitiana.
“We also have art donated by many extraordinarily talented young artists from the senior schools across our region.
“This is the chance to have a piece of their art before they become famous,” Tony says.
The children are not only relying on their community for the $20,000 cost of the trip however, with each committed to raising $120 through their own efforts.
“And they are proving very resourceful,” Tony says.
“Car washes, cupcakes, doing odd jobs for businesses, chores for family, neighbours and teachers — they are really getting into it.”
He says it had been a real pleasure watching the children rehearse their presentations and then go on to confidently approach artists and businesses, often coming away with a commitment of sponsorship or a donation of a work.
“That in itself is a great communication learning experience for them, and a real confidence builder.”
It’s a big job fundraising to get all the way to the West Coast, but these kids from Irongate School are determined to make it happen.