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We are all artists

By UCOL on Monday, 10 September 2018

A photograph of the We are all artists installation at UCOL in Palmerston North

Last week a group of local artists got together to put into action an initiative that has been months in the making, a ‘Paste Up’ of a very special kind with an important message: “We Are All Artists”.  Artists chose a letter from the sentence: ‘We Are All Artists’ and created their work using their chosen letter.

Among these artists were creative minds from Strive, Creative Journeys, Awatapu College and the NOA Open Studio, which runs open art sessions at Te Manawa for artists of mixed ability supported by IHC New Zealand.  These artists have spent the past few months working on each individual letter to create this incredible piece of art with a message that anyone from anywhere can be an artist and has the right to self-expression through art.  The phrase has been pasted up on the outside of UCOL’s Hospitality School building in Queen Street and will stay until nature washes it away.  

Professional street artist Kelly Jarvis and Mirjam De-Oude from Te Manawa assisted the artists and selected the works which have been scanned, enlarged and pasted on to the wall with the help of Palmerston North City Council who say that this project is important for the culture of Palmerston North.

The project is about empowering local artists and revealing some of that creative juice –exploring what street art can do in a low risk and temporary way.  The paste-up method is low-cost, easy to achieve and quicker than traditional street-art.

Due to the winter weather building exteriors are often discounted as a platform for art, but this Paste Up is a good test to see if this form of art could be one to continue exploring in Palmerston North. 

Gillian Tasker from the Palmerston North City Council is proud of the artistic efforts and in particular with the NOA Open Studio saying that it gives people the chance to “create art in whatever medium they like.” 

The beauty in creating an outdoor piece is that artists who have come together to create something powerful can see it out on the street, and it can inspire anyone walking by that no matter who they are, they too can create something special.

UCOL’s Creative Industries Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer, Tricia Falkner, was enthusiastic about the plan when first approached by Palmerston North City Council earlier this year.