The bright colours of confidence

Saturday June 15, 2019 Written by Published in Education
Lee Raela shows the excited pupils how their work has printed out. 19060607 Lee Raela shows the excited pupils how their work has printed out. 19060607

It’s a big deal for an artist to exhibit their works for a sale in a gallery – so it’s a particular achievement for a group of schoolkids to have a gallery back them.


Apii Nikao is celebrating students’ artwork with the help of the local Little Red Gallery, which is making their artworks into prints and cards.

Lee Raela, a former art teacher who now owns the gallery, says she wanted to help the students embrace their creativity.

“When the kids see their art printed, it gives them more confidence and you never know what it might ignite in them.”

Raela says students who are creative need to be encouraged to do things like visual art. And this artwork is local, a genuine form of creative community expression.

The prints will be for sale in the school office, Super Brown Nikao, the Punganui Market and at The Little Red Gallery.

Raela says all profits will go back to supporting the school. “There are a lot of talented students who produced work of a high standard and are keen to continue developing their skills and experience in this area.”

The year 7 and 8 students took part in up to six weeks of art classes with Raela.

They used a variety of mixed media to create their stunning work. They used acrylic paint, pastels, pencils and charcoal and each student was able to produce two or three pieces.

Principal Elizabeth Kapi says: “It’s really great what Lee has done for the students; she has been teaching them visual art skills.”

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