NorthTec Maori Visual Arts and Design student Elizabeth Allen with her clay sculpture piece called “Maikuku”.

Several new courses were introduced to NorthTec’s curriculum last year, including a six-month Certificate in Whakairo Maori Visual Arts and Design. NorthTec was fortunate to acquire the services of renowed contemporary Maori Artist Andrea Hopkins as course tutor.

Ms Hopkins, says she was incredibly proud of her students who held their graduation exhibition and sale of painted works and clay sculpture at Tuatara Gallery in December.  “Many of the students were first time art practitioners,” she says.  “The work they produced after six months was amazing.  It was a mean feat, and they can be proud of what they accomplished in such a short amount of time.”

The exhibition attracted the interest of art buyers as well as the general public, which Hopkins says helped the students to really begin to see Arts as a viable career option.