A special family day is being held at the Rotorua Sculpture Symposium this Saturday to encourage families to visit the Rotorua Arts Village and see the artists hard at work.

The symposium has seventeen of New Zealand's finest artists turning large boulders, rocks, and logs into pieces of art.

It is a free event and open to the public.

More than twenty Year six students from Aorangi School gave the sculpture event a big thumbs up.

Assistant principal Leanne Stewart said she brought her students to the event to complement her lessons on the importance of legacies.

"All these students will leave our school and head off to intermediate next year. We have been studying a unit on legacies and have asked the students to think about what they can leave behind. Something that will remain for the next generation."

"The school was sent information about the Sculpture Symposium and it was a wonderful link to what we were learning in class.

"It provided a fantastic opportunity to show how art is a lasting legacy. The students were very interested and spoke to several of the artists. It's a great event and we will encourage our students and families to come down on the weekend to see the final pieces," she said.

As the group walked around the event, several artists downed their tools and talked with the students about their work and how they became an artist.

Local artist Peter Akurangi got the students up close and personal with part of his sculpture made from Oamaru limestone. He shared with the students how long he had been learning his craft.

Students Payton O'Connor and Maraea Paul enjoyed the experience.

"The best thing was talking to the artists and getting to see their work" said Payton.

Maraea said she really enjoyed art especially drawing background so it was great to see the artists and get to talk to them.

The students wandered around the Sulphur Lake Sculpture Trail to see 'The Returning Soldiers' exhibition of the pieces created at the 2014 symposium.

The pieces created from this event will replace these artworks and create 'The Energy Within' exhibition, which will be on display until the next symposium in 2018.

The public are welcome to wander through the event. For the family day on Saturday food carts will be on site including MobileChef Rotorua and Rossco's Espresso Bar.

Families are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket, enjoy watching the artists make the finishing touches to their artworks and then wander around the sculpture trail to get a last look at the 2014 artworks before they are removed.

The Sculpture Symposium is on at the Rotorua Arts Village green until Sunday 27 November. Judging takes place at 3pm on the last day when the Judge's Award will be announced.

For more information go to www.bit.ly/sculptsym

More information:

About the Symposium
· Rotorua Sculpture Symposium is on from Saturday 19 - Sunday 27 November at the Rotorua Arts Village green in the Government Gardens.
· Family day on Saturday 26 November from 10am-2pm.
· The public is encouraged to wander through and watch the artists' work
· All pieces must be finished by 1pm Sunday 27 November ready for judging.
· One piece will be awarded the Judge's Award and become part of the Rotoru'a public art collection.
· A further four pieces may be purchased to enhance the new boulevard in Rotorua's Kuirau Park.
· All pieces will become part of 'The Energy Within' Exhibition on the Sulphur Lake Sculpture Trail.