A new mural in Te Puke has been an oversized exercise in painting by numbers.
The mural, on the Tui St frontage of Te Puke Memorial Pool, is a Matariki project. After the fence had an undercoat applied, students from several schools added the colour last week.
The design encompasses te taiao - honouring the beauty of the natural environment and its connection to Matariki.
The painting is an abstract interpretation of the paemaunga (mountain range) that embraces our Te Puke landscape. From Te Rae o Pāpāmoa, out to Te Pari o te Rāwāwhirua, including Otawa, Otanewainuku and Rangiuru. It also depicts the contributory waterways that flow into the Kaituna and out to the moana at Maketū.
Te Puke High School arts leader of learning Shannon Armstrong designed the mural. It was sketched onto the fence before the students arrived to apply the paint.
"We turned it into a paint-by-numbers, so every section was divided up and we matched it with the paint colours that Resene provided for us," says Shannon.
"We sketched it out - it was literally lines and numbers - so when they arrived, the outlines were on, then they have gone through, matched the numbers to the labelled paints and blocked sections of colour."
This collaborative mural is a community memento to mark the first Matariki public holiday. Another mural, based on the nine stars, is due to be painted on the fence fronting Beatty Ave this week.
"We have had ringatoi (artists) from a range of kura involved in the making of our mural," says Shannon.
These included senior art students and leaders from Te Puke High School, children from Fairhaven School's Toitoi Manawa immersion unit, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Matai and Te Puke Intermediate.
"There is a great collective of students in our school who are bringing awareness to the beauty of mātauranga Māori and who are starting to really critique the ways we do things in our school. It's really exciting to have tautoko (support) for the value and mana of the concepts we are trying to illustrate."
Shannon says the collaboration among schools is all part of the work of the Kāhui Ako.
"It's about schools getting together to see how we can seamlessly transition the kids from the start of their learning all the way through, so that we are supporting one another and the goals that we have as a community."
The mural could not have been completed without the support and sponsorship from Mitre 10 Te Puke and Resene Mount Maunganui.