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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

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All Year 13 students in New Zealand with artistic ability have an opportunity of a lifetime. 

For the first time, EIT Tairāwhiti’s school of  Māori Visual Art, Toihoukura, has a scholarship for two students.  

Toihoukura tutor of  the level four certificate programme Ngaire Tuhua, is very excited about this.

“The Te Kupenga Te Toi o Ngā Rangi scholarship is a vehicle for us to acknowledge the potential and talent our young people have.  

“Art is not recognised as one of the top three career paths. From my own experience I know it is difficult to pursue art because it is not status quo.  

“We need to celebrate creative intelligence.”  

Toihoukura is calling on any Year 13 student enrolled in school to submit one art work in any medium.  

“We will curate an exhibition of the submitted artwork and during the exhibition opening two of these artists will be awarded a scholarship creating opportunities for whanau.”  

Ngaire knows education is a privilege.  

“For some, furthering education is not a reality. It is important to bridge the gap. I am really excited to see what is out there.  

“At year 13, there are no limitations to creativity … Toihoukura wants to embrace and nurture that.”  

Anyone interested in taking this opportunity can contact EIT Toihoukura or call into Toihoukura in Cobden Street.  

The refurbishment of the school has really lifted the space, says Ngaire.  

“New paint, heating, lighting and flooring – there are no walls – it is beautiful. Students used to call it the dungeon and now it is a light, bright, warm space – key factors in our creativity.  

“It has created such a beautiful environment to create and the work coming out is amazing.”  

Ngaire grew up in the Waikato with a dream to become a tā moko artist.  

She always wanted to come to Gisborne to attend Toihoukura because of  Paapa D” – Sir Derek Lardelli, this year knighted in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for his work with Māori art, particularly moko 

“I was working as a teacher at a Kōhanga Reo and sometimes you just know the time is right. In 2014 my sister and I packed all my things onto a trailer and I moved here.  

“I had never been to Gisborne and had no family here but Toihoukura became my whānau”  

She enrolled in the degree programme, Te Toi o Ngā Rangi and after three years was awarded the Ruānuku Award for top student.   

She says the content and learning environment changed her life. 

“I came in as a drawer, aspired to be moko artist left a painter and now I am doing digital work. All the different mediums have a voice of their own but can also work in harmony together.”  

In 2017 Ngaire enrolled in a the honours programme, Te Hono ki Toi (Poutiri a Rangi) then took a gap year to spend with her newborn baby.  

In 2019 Ngaire completed  her Masters Degree with distinction and will graduate later this year in a special in-house ceremony after the outbreak of the pandemic Covid 19 cancelled normal graduation plans.  

“It will be a celebration of our achievements and acknowledgement of our whānau. We want to celebrate our success with whanau because they own it … there is no way I could have done it without them.”  

Artwork as entries for the inaugural Toihoukura Scholarship, Te Kupenga  

Entries close 3pm September 14 2020 

Exhibition will be opened 6pm  September 17 2020 

Toihoukura Information Brunch September 18 2020