Brazilian artist Lucia Lemos Monteiro Conceicao has every right to smile.
After Covid-19 put a halt to the planned exhibition of "Mixed", the cultural artworks created in response to the writing of 27 migrants from 18 countries, the Third Place Café has stepped in and offered their facility as a venue to display, celebrate and sell the works.
The official opening will take place on June 26 from 3pm to 4pm, and is open to the public with the works remaining in place for the following two weeks.
"Mixed" is the result of a series of creative writing workshops held at English Language Partners and tutored by writer Angie Belcher.
A book, 'Mixed: Creative Writing by Newcomers to Our Shores' which contains the artworks along with 22 poems and 17 short pieces, primarily depicts the migrants departures from their homelands, their arrival in New Zealand as well as their emotions, hopes and dreams.
Flaxroots reviewer, Vaughan Rapatahana describes the collection as, "variegated and variable, but always candid," and singled out the contribution by Tara Prieto, project co-ordinator at Rotorua Arts Village as being particularly noteworthy.
And, of the moving, no-holds-barred The Evil Within by Mia Love, originally from Bosnia, Vaughan says, "She writes of terror, torture, tyranny, in graphic and grisly detail replete with brilliant imagery ... "
Lucia Lemos Monteiro Conceicao's intensive research into the cultures represented, and each writer's connection to people and place, has resulted in vibrant works which encourage discussion and interpretation.
Known in Brazil for her artistic designs portrayed on fabric, this will be Lucia's first solo exhibition using photographic prints.
She was also a participant in the writing workshops, with her written contribution "Small Conversations" .
The project was made possible with support from Rotorua Civic Arts Trust, Rotorua Creative Communities and the Matatuhiu Foundation.
Angie Belcher says the Third Place has always been supportive of a diverse range of people and organisations.
"It's our turn now to support the cafe along with other local businesses as they adapt to the new normal, employing staff, creating safe and happy environments and continuing to cater for our various needs.
"Taking the time to visit the 'Mixed" exhibition, gives people a chance to support a local business and local migrants while enjoying what is possibly the best coffee in Rotorua."
More information about the project and the works can be found at www.angiebelcherwriter.com and www.llart.store.