Art Exhibition and Community Project

The Polyfest theme for 2017 is “Celebrate the Environment”

Where: Southland Museum & Art Gallery- Community Gallery.

When: Friday 18th August - Sunday 3rd November 2017

Categories for the exhibition are painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography and movie making. When creating your artworks you can use your school or centre, region, surrounding native areas, waterways, environmental practises and traditions as inspiration. Any artworks based on the theme will be accepted as Art Exhibition entries, so you can interpret this any way you wish.

This is an exciting concept as it has so many possibilities with reference to kaitiakitanga, sustainability, ecosystems, the unique character and history of your place, region, nation and beyond. Stories can be told through symbols, patterns, experiences, including celebrations and concerns for the environment. Måori have strong spiritual bonds with the land - Papatuanuku (the Earth mother). They regard the land, soil and water as taonga (treasures). Maori see themselves as Kaitiaki (guardians) of this taonga, which provides a source of unity, identity for tangata whenua (local people).

These questions may be used to guide the development of your artworks.

How was the environment cared for by my ancestors/local iwi?

What do we know about Maori concepts and sustainable environments?
How do we care for the environment now?How do we currently connect with local marae/iwi to share and learn about the history of our environment?

What is important to me about the environment?

What changes to the environment might we see in the future?

How might the practises from the past be beneficial for the future?

How can I influence the future?

If the artwork does not gain a placing at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery it will be displayed in the Invercargill and surrounding areas. This could either be in shop windows or other venues in your local community. We will advise you of the venue once the Art Exhibition has opened at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

Entry Requirements:

Students and groups of students may submit work as long as they are all in the same age group section (see below), otherwise if a group work is entered it will be the age of the oldest student that determines which section the exhibit will be entered in.

Age Groups:

  • ECE
  • Years 1-3
  • Yers 4-6
  • Years 7-8
  • Years 9-13

  • Painting & Printing
  • Sculpture

We have added two new ICT categories this year. Entries in these categories are subject to our criteria, terms and conditions, please see our links and resources page for these.

  • Photography - Photos of any shape and size are welcome. It is up to you to present these any way you like. 
  • Movie Making - We invite groups to submit a movie based around the theme of celebrate the environment. This could include your journey to create your artwork entry or alternatively could be a documentary style movie on your school/centre and how you care for or celebrate the environment. Movies can be a maximum of 3 minutes in length. Completed movies need to be uploaded to youtube and then you need to email us a link to the clip along with completed entry details.

There will be a first and second place for every category and every age group, as well as an OVERALL WINNER of the exhibition. We really encourage artists to consider a cultural perspective when creating artworks. This is not limited to Maori and Pasifika as it can be a reflection of your school or centre culture. Please feel free to include any written interpretation about the artwork. 

Please clearly include the following information with each piece: 

  • Name(s) of artist and Age- when creating work
  • Section entered (age group)
  • Category eg. painting, sculpture etc
  • Title of work
  • Name of school or ECE address, phone number and email contact
  • Name of teacher in charge

Entries need to be delivered to the address below between the days and hours stipulated: Wednesday 2nd August 9am - 5pm or Thursday 3rd August 9am - 5pm

Murihiku Maori & Pasifika Cultural Trust Office

College of Education

100 Nelson Street, Invercargill

Phone 027 296 2527

Entries are to be collected at the end of the exhibition from the display location.

While there are no size restrictions we do need to consider transportation, storage and display. Please contact us if you are thinking of creating a large piece so we can work through the logistics with you. The use of natural material is always encouraged but will need to undergo a freezing process before display in the Museum. This is purely a safety measure to keep any unwanted insects/pests from damaging other works in the museum. We are also happy to help with this.

Some ideas for a teaching unit are available on our links and resources page.

Further enquiries contact

Pauline Smith

Tania Carran

Mandy Smith

03 2116822