Two exhibitions opening in Te Awamutu celebrate the past and the future of art at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
The Te Awamutu Museum hosts artworks from Te Kōpuni Kura, the extensive $3.7 million Te Wānanga o Aotearoa art collection comprising works by former and current toi kaiako (art tutors), while the Apakura Campus in Factory Rd hosts Whakapuāwai, an exhibition of works by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa toi graduates.
The twin exhibitions are being held in part to mark the 35th anniversary of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa - one of the largest providers of toi Māori education in Aotearoa - and Poutiaki Toi Art Collection Curator Aisha Roberts says they are a great chance to reconnect with the community.
“They also provide an opportunity to share some of our history, which identifies Te Awamutu as the birth place of our organisation,” she says.
“Toi (the arts) has always been a big part of our history. It started with O-Tāwhao Marae (at Te Awamutu College) led by Dr. Pakaariki Harrison and supported by his wife Hinemoa who led the construction of the tukutuku panels. This commitment continued with the establishment of the Waipa Kōkiri Arts Centre, which developed into Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.”
Te Kōpuni Kura features ringa toi (artists) who have helped to shape and deliver Toi Māori (Māori art) programmes at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa over the past 35 years and includes works by artists such as Dr. Pakaariki Harrison, Hinemoa Harrison, Mac Bell, Sandy Adsett, Marie Panapa, Gloria Taituha, James Ormsby, Adrienne Spratt, Pahi O’Carrol and others.
Whakapuāwai - meaning to blossom or flourish - is an annual exhibition by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Toi Paematua (Diploma in Māori and Indigenous Art) and Maunga Kura Toi (Degree in Māori and Indigenous Art) graduates in Whakairo (carving), Ngā Mahi ā te Whare Pora (weaving) and Rauangi (visual arts).
Roberts says the timing of the exhibitions is significant as we approach Matariki.
“Under the stars of a new year, we will reflect on our mission of Tauira Success by celebrating the continued achievements and future aspiration of our Toi graduates.”
“They are a celebration of our history and continued commitment as a wānanga to support the growth and development of Toi Māori” she says.
Tukua te toi, kia tupu te toi, kia whanake te toi ki te ao, hei hiringa whakaaro mō te katoa.
Let the arts grow and develop in the world, to be an inspiration for all.
- Te Kōpuni Kura: Collected Treasures of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa opens at the Te Awamutu Museum on June 29 and runs until September 20.
- Whakapuāwai: Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Toi Graduate Exhibition is on at the Marie Panapa Gallery, Apakura Campus, 320 Factory Rd from July 14 to September 14. The gallery is open to the public from Mon-Fri 10am to 4pm.