Street art festival begins

Jack Marsden Mayer is one of many artists involved in the festival. Photo: Rosalie Liddle Crawford.

Mount Maunganui art festival, Street Prints Mauao has kicked off another year with a bang.

The event began yesterday with a gathering on top of Mauao at 6.30am followed by breakfast at the base of Mauao at 8am.

Festival organisers Jah and Lovie Smith say they collaborated with Ngati Te Rangi to organise the official opening and powhiri at the top of Mauao.

A traditional welcome was performed for the artists, sponsors and public who attended. 

The festival involves seventeen local, national and international artists painting murals at points throughout the Mount Maunganui CBD.

Official programme booklets including schedules and mural locations have been printed and distributed to pop up i-centres in the CBD. The festival hub is at 11 Totara Street. 

Jack Marsden Mayer is one of many artists involved in the festival.

Rather than painting, Jack will be sculpting his mural, creating a dolphin sculpture from driftwood at Phoenix Park.

He says he is planning to complete it on Sunday.

A SunLive reporter who visited the festival says his design is very visible with many people stopping past to watch him.

“Most of the driftwood he is using comes from the lower part of the North Island as we don't tend to have a lot of driftwood on our beaches around Tauranga.”

The dolphin sculpture will be available to buy Sunday night at the festivals art auction at 11 Totara Street.

Jack is originally from the UK but now resides and works in NZ, currently working out of his studio in Whanganui working on large scale commissions. 

The festival also includes a youth mentoring programme, which sees youth paired with each artist during the duration of their work.

Lovie and Jah say they are finding the mentoring workshops are filling up fast.

At the conclusion of the event, locally-based artist Mr G will host the artists at his home in Motiti Island.

All artists will get to enjoy a day off to enjoy a hangi, an overnight marae stay, diving and many other activities.


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