A number of Rotorua schools have put their hands up to be part of a project that will bring their artistic talents to the public.

An opportunity arose for young artists to become involved in the embellishment of Te Aka Mauri, Rotorua's Library and Children's Health Hub.

Eleven murals will be painted to fit in the building's alcoves overlooking Jean Batten Square.

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 forever.


Rotorua Lakes Council community arts adviser Marc Spijkerbosch says Te Aka Mauri is a hugely important community asset.

"As a children's health hub it's appropriate to have our tamariki contribute to its look and feel."

Marc says he is delighted with the response to the project.

He says there has also been tremendous success in partnership with local schools over the past seven years to add colour and vibrancy to the airport.

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

Marc says 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."

Lois Haddon, acting library director, says Te Aka Mauri is an ideal venue for the murals that are to be created by local children.


"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."

She says 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 and bringing whānau to view the murals.

Lois says her team are excited to see the colourful pieces of art that are created and to discover the stories that will be portrayed on the outside of the building.