Buzzy Bee wows judges at Kiwiana Art competition

CALEB White’s “vibrant” painting of New Zealand’s iconic toy won first prize in the Coastlands Kiwiana Art competition for primary schools last week.

The eight-year-old from Ōtaki Primary School beat over 70 entries from seven local schools to win $200 in Coastlands vouchers.

Caleb says he took the idea from a book and spent about two hours painting the artwork.

He was thrilled to win first prize and is going to use the money to buy an iPod.

Second prize of $100 Coastlands vouchers went to Christopher Garraway, 9, from Paekākāariki Primary School for his painting of a Kereru.

Leilani Te’o from Raumati South Primary School won Third prize for her plaster base relief of a Nikau palm, and $50 of vouchers to spend at Coastlands.

Local artists Kimbra Taylor and Don Wilson judged the competition.

The judges agreed the real difficulty was taking into account the 5-12 year age range, but that there were definite pieces which stood out.

Ms Taylor says the Buzzy Bee painting is a very dynamic, vibrant painting with little surprises in it which worked well.

“It was very Kiwiana,” Mr Wilson says.

Each school received $300 from Coastlands for art supplies, but an offer to sell the artwork to raise money for the schools wasn’t popular, because most children wanted to keep their “treasured” artwork.

Coastlands Marketing and Promotions Manager, Connie Murphy, says it’s the first time Coastlands has hosted the themed art exhibition to showcase local talent. It ran for three weeks during March.

Eleven local artists exhibited paintings, sculpture and ceramics during the first half of the event.

Ms Murphy says she received many positive comments from both the public and retailers saying how impressed they were with the standard of artwork in their own ‘backyard’.

She says the shopping mall is an obvious place to display local talent to be appreciated by a wider audience.

Coastlands hope to make this an annual event with a different theme and creative media each time.

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