Sina and Tuna canvasesIt’s exciting to have been given the opportunity by Mangere Otahuhu community boards to work in collaboration with Mangere Town Centre Library and Mangere Arts Centre aka Nga Tohu o Uenuku from 27 May through to 4 June as one of the events celebration Samoan language week.

This is a neat way for me to pay it forward for our community. As a local student growing up in Mangere, I had dreams and goals and one of my first loves (before writing and eating dark chocolate) was to draw, to paint, to create which was passed down to me by my mum who was an amazing seamstress who sewed and created many beautiful dresses and clothes for my siblings and I from a pattern to a finished dress.

This started in primary school where I loved colouring in with bright colours, in fact, I loved participating in any handicraft activities as my mum had taught me to crochet, to knit and to sew. I remember being in a special group of 4 students in Year 6 who worked collaboratively with a teacher to write a play, create the paper mache puppets, paint tie dyed panels for the backdrop, record the voices of our characters in the play in perform it to all the school classes.

And then in Intermediate school, my art work was chosen to be exhibited an Auckland inter-school art exhibition. I remember my parents taking our family to view the artwork. It was the first time that I had ever been to an art exhibition.

At high school, I opted for art throughout my years starting at Year 9 and 10 and then passing my School Certificate with Art as one of my subjects. I couldn’t continue to Year 12 as we didn’t have an art teacher to teach it so I took Art History by correspondence and then the following year, I was able to join another local school by taking art there and then when in Term 2 an art teacher was hired, I was able to complete my art boards and portfolio with the help of a local art Uni student and passed my Bursary art but it wasn’t enough to go to art school so I settled for a University course in the ‘Arts’.

Now, I’m finally blessed with the opportunity to have my first art exhibition from the artwork of the books that I’ve written and it is a dream come true for me and I want to pass the message of dream your dreams, work towards them and something special can happen for you too!…