Map of Tonga in the South Pacific

Map of Tonga in the South Pacific

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Early in May I began hearing about an art exhibit that would be held at the New Zealand High Commission, and they were calling it the Kermadec Exhibition. "What's that?" I thought. But art always draws me in. I talked to the Form 2 teacher about taking a few students from Hilliard to see it, those who showed an interest in art and drawing. We decided to take twelve students from Form 1 and 2. I called a friend at the Commission, and we were scheduled to go on a Wednesday afternoon.

The students were so excited on that day. We got to go by taxi and they posed for photos outside. Inside they were issued "passports" that had information and pictures about the art and the Kermadec region. We were the only group there, so we had personal attention. 
Posing outside the New Zealand High Commission.

Learning about the Kermadec region.

Asking questions about the art.

We learned that the Kermadec region belongs to New Zealand, but is closer to Tonga. "In May 2011 the Kermadec Initiative of the Pew Environment Group invited nine of the South Pacific's more prestigious and highly acclaimed artists to join them on the navy ship HMNZS Otago to voyage from New Zealand, through the Kermadec region, to Tonga. The resultant Kermadec Exhibition is a celebration of that journey." (from the news release from the NZ High Commission) The artwork has also been exhibited in Auckland, NZ. Four of the artists came with the artwork as hosts. There were also free public talks and workshops scheduled.

Our students asked many questions and took time to really look at the art. The next Saturday when Jim and I went to see it, as he hadn't had the opportunity yet, 10 Hilliard students were there on their own to see it, some who had been there before, and others who had not.  One student even brought a sketch pad with her. I was so proud and pleased with them, their interest and enthusiasm. Thanks, New Zealand, for giving the children and people of Tonga this wonderful opportunity!


Tapa with natural dyes.
A parting word of thanks on behalf of the group.

Saturday morning photo op in front of the High Commission.

Students who came on Saturday morning!

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