Schools wanted for mural project



27 July 2019

Community ownership and pride are the drivers behind a project which will see school children create murals for Te Aka Mauri.

Rotorua schools are being invited to be involved in the embellishment of Rotorua’s new Library and Children’s Health Hub, Te Aka Mauri and Rotorua Lakes Council community arts advisor Marc Spijkerbosch says the aim is to paint 11 murals to fit in the building’s alcoves overlooking Jean Batten Square.

Each mural measures 3.6m x 2.0m and will be painted on aluminum panels.

“Once installed, these will add vibrancy and ownership to this much-loved community facility. It’s a chance for Rotorua to share our stories and showcase our talent to the rest of the world,” he says.

After about five years, these will be refreshed with new artworks – and participating schools will then have their professional masterpiece returned to their school to enjoy.

Marc says professional artists will also be enlisted to help and this will be a “tremendous opportunity for young talent to be fostered and inspired”.

Te Aka Mauri is a hugely important community asset. As a children’s health hub it’s very appropriate to have our tamariki contribute to its look and feel.

“Over the past seven years we’ve had tremendous success in partnership with local schools to add colour and vibrancy to our airport.

“Working with schools gives us opportunity to inspire and develop young artistic talent, and ultimately, the community enjoys these very special masterpieces for years to come.

“Community-based public art is all about participation, ownership and pride. We’ll be working alongside graphic designers and artists throughout this project to have our children’s stories and ideas presented in a most professional and captivating way.”

Rotorua Library acting Library Director Lois Haddon says Te Aka Mauri is an ideal venue for the murals.

“As a library and children’s health hub, there is a strong focus on stories and wellbeing and is a destination many young people already have a connection with.

“The Te Aka Mauri School Murals Project provides young artists with a rare opportunity to work with designers and artists as they turn their stories into captivating artworks.

“The library is always keen to contribute to positive learning experiences for children and young people. She envisages children taking great pride in their contribution to the city’s artwork, bringing whanau to view the murals from Jean Batten Square.”


Step 1. Design.

During Term 4 2019, an artist will visit school and work with a select group of 5 children from years 5 or 7 to develop designs to the theme ‘Rotorua … our people, our place, our stories.’  These will be interpreted by a local graphic designer for final mural composition. This ensures a cohesive, professional overall format - both in terms of colour and style.


Step 2. Painting.

During a public and high-profile event held in Jean Batten square in February 2020, the same selected students will work with professional artists to create their final masterpieces.


If you would like students from your school to be involved please contact either:

Marc Spijkerbosch 
or Helen English


Deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 9 August, 2019.

Page reviewed: 27 Jul 2019 1:00pm