The 28 artists who were in Rarotonga for this year’s gathering all produced pieces for the final exhibition from their time spent here on the island.
Putahi Ono Kuki Airani co-organiser Stormy Kara said last week that this year’s gathering had been a great success.
“It was so much fun and all the pieces that were created were so unique,” she said.
“In particular, the wakas/vakas that each country produced were outstanding. Some had never done anything like that before but it was all about pushing them outside of their comfort zones and now they can’t wait to build more.”
Kara hopes that more Putahi Ono gatherings will be held here in Rarotonga at some point, adding that, as with any event, certain things could be amended for future gatherings.
“Considering it was just Shane (Andrews) and I organising this year I think we did pretty well,” she said. “There were definitely times that I had to put my organising hat on over being an artist but that’s part of it.
“We had no funding assistance so we really had to put our heads down and just do it, but Anthony Turua from the Ministry of Cultural Development has said he wants to help fund artists to go to Putahi in Hawaii as well as help for hosting down the track, which is awesome.”
Kara said some of the pieces sold the same day the exhibition first opened and all pieces will remain on display until the exhibition closes at the end of this week.
Having the Bergman Gallery on board was huge for the success of the event, said Kara. “I haven’t had a chance to catch up with Ben (Bergman Gallery owner) as he was in Auckland when our second exhibition opened, but we will have a chat about how he found working with the group.”
Kara also praised the school visits the artists undertook while in Rarotonga.
“They were fantastic and that is something I believe Hawaii are looking to continue when they host. Going out and talking to these kids about art being a career was really important for us.”
The next Putahi Ono is scheduled for 2020 in Hawaii.