Art award focusing on local green issues


An award is being launched to give Oamaru youth the opportunity to express their ecological concerns through art.

Our Hub Oamaru Creative Art Space facilitator Eddie Robinson is calling for entries based on a local ecological concern chosen by the artist.

The award would consist of a certificate and a cash prize.

In collaboration with local biodiversity specialists, the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark and local artists, the group would also host workshops for 13 to 20-year-olds.

Mr Robinson said it would be a chance for young people to discuss their concerns and learn to incorporate them into their work.

“It’s a real active and direct approach.”

Last November, Mr Robinson facilitated an exhibition called Hope and Fear at the Forester Gallery.

It showcased 33 artworks by 22 artists.

He saw how fixated people had become on world issues and thought the new youth art award would create an opportunity for young people to turn their focus to more local issues and solutions.

The award was funded by the Waitaki District Council’s creative community scheme, which the group used to rent its space and facilitate workshops.

The Oamaru Creative Arts Space was launched in September last year to provide a creative space for people of all ages, looking to explore many facets of art.

With the opportunity to try creative writing, music, design, photography, portrait drawing and painting, the space was open to everyone and offered free workshops during and outside of school holidays.

“We don’t just do oil painting.”

Mr Robinson first recognised a need for the creative space when he struggled to find many creative opportunities for his children at school, or outside of school .

The creative space was there to give opportunities to those who would otherwise not have access to art, making it as low cost as possible – or free.

Always on the lookout for art resources and volunteers to share their time as skills, the group was also searching for an affordable and accessible ground-level space.

If able to find sponsorship, Mr Robinson hoped to introduce another youth art award for 5 to 12-year-olds.

With plans to make it a regular fixture, the youth art award initiative would start this month and finish in May.

For more information about the award or the Our Hub Oamaru Creative Art Space, contact Mr Robinson on 021 42-1498.