Paint Up the City's Suburbs

2 December 2013

Two new murals painted by local school children have brightened up the neighbourhoods of Newtown and Berhampore thanks to Wellington City Council’s Paint Up project and two acclaimed local artists.

Nine Year 6 students from Newtown School collaborated with artist Kiri Hiha on a mural painted on the Carrara Park substation and 22 Year 4 and 5 students from Berhampore School worked with artist Tina-Rae Carter on a mural on their school’s boundary wall.

Students from each school participated in six workshops leading up to painting the murals. During these workshops they met with local iwi and representatives from the Police, Newtown Residents Association and the Newtown Community Centre.

“The Newtown mural depicts a lyrical landscape scene with symbols designed and painted by the students that represent what makes Newtown unique to the students – from its cultural history and peoples market to the network of roads that make up this vibrant suburb,” says lead artist Kiri Hiha.

Berhampore School’s lead artist Tina-Rae Carter says the Berhampore mural depicts a giant waka spanning about 30 metres.

“In this waka are the Berhampore students’ designs that present their sense of community - where they come from, what they're passionate about, why they like living in Berhampore. Above their sense of community they have painted their hopes and dreams for the future - a smoke free world, lots of birds, money, family and study.

“Working with kids from so many different cultures, and watching them soak up the experience of designing and painting a mural for their school has been awesome.”

City Arts Portfolio Leader, Ray Ahipene-Mercer, says the Council’s Paint Up is a pilot project that supports graffiti prevention, community safety, youth empowerment and community arts.

“Through these projects young people not only learn about the art of designing and painting murals but they also learn a lot about  the cultural and geographical heritage of where they live. The plan is to create a sense of ownership, pride, confidence and hope.”

Newtown and Berhampore locals, as well as media, are invited to celebrate the launch of the murals with the Paint Up team of students, artists, teachers, and youth organisation Eastern Southern Youth Trust on Wednesday 4 December, 2.30pm at Berhampore School Hall.