Topic: Rotorua Airport Murals

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Article from - Rotorua Lakes Council website : 

Rotorua community art advisor Marc Spijkerbosch knew he had a challenge when two years ago he planned the first set of murals for Rotorua Airport.

The airport looked “like a barn” with large expanses of corrugated iron, he told students and teachers from four of the five schools which produced the murals unveiled at the entry to the airport terminal today.

“We have a real strength in our community, we’ve got soul and these murals prove that,” he said.

Mayor Steve Chadwick welcomed students from Rotoma, Te Kura Kaupapa o te Rotoiti, Sunset and Waikite Valley schools to the airport. Westbrook School students who produced the fifth mural were unable to attend.

“The purpose of the project was to add vibrancy to the airport – ‘our gateway to the city’ by telling the Rotorua story in an amazing visual explosion of colour and creativity,” she said.

“It was also a chance for the airport’s neighbouring communities to have real ownership of the airport building.”

Two years ago Spijkerbosch started working with the students from schools under the airport’s flight path to create the murals and said it was “amazing” to see their stories come to life.

“It’s all their work – drawings, design, painting – we’re just there to korero, mix paints and facilitate.”

Community and fine artist Ally Rogers assisted him this year and she provided the additional impetus needed to get them finished.

“This is your project children and the fabulous result of your creativity and hard work,” said Mayor Chadwick.

“Thank you for contributing your time and creativity.”

Airport chief executive Nicole Brewer says it was fantastic for the airport to host the murals.

“Being able to host the murals that the kids have put their hearts and souls into creating is a real privilege. The murals also add vibrancy and colour to the terminal, enabling many an art lover – locals and visitors alike – to admire and appreciate them.

“We see the airport as an important part of the Rotorua community and the murals are an interactive way to demonstrate the passion and stories of Rotorua through the perspectives of our young people.”

The murals were painted off site at the schools using aluminium polycarbonate panels and high quality paints and sealers.

The murals will be installed on a rotational basis.

“This will enable all schools to have the opportunity to eventually showcase their talent within the airport arena. After initial contact with principals, this scenario has met favourably – both as an opportunity to contribute to the aesthetic enhancement of the airport, and as a means of creating a lasting, meaningful and professionally-assisted artwork which will one day return to the school on a permanent basis,” said Spijkerbosch.

“Further, as a medium for Rotorua to tell its story, a rotating scenario will enable us to manifest artwork in response to new ideas or developments in Rotorua into the future.”  

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