Artists in Schools


So how do you incorporate alien abductions into the curriculum and exactly where do gnomes fit in?Recently The Government axed the Artists in Schools Programme, which funded approximately 45 artists to work in schools, does it matter? Yes if you need to answer the above problems.

For a relatively small outlay to the Ministry of Education, schools had the opportunity to work with artists to explore the new curriculum in a variety of innovative and exciting ways. Engaging students in school life is crucial and by making learning relevant to their interests, is an important part of this process of engagement.

At Dargaville High School over a 10 week period, artist Simon Gray has been working with Year 10 students on a project looking at changing their whole school environment. Projects have ranged from graffiti murals to aliens and sticky tape sculptures to gnomes appearing around the school grounds. Work will continue past the initial 10 weeks with projects being developed for the rest of the year, some temporary and others permanent.

Students have had a chance to work in new ways and being fully involved in the process from start to finish. One example being the work of Sarcha Morrison who will be turning the front of the school into an installation comprising hundreds of photographs, of fellow students. The work will be put up in secret and provide an arresting display for the whole school on Monday morning. (22/06/09)

This is just one of many innovative projects which the students have developed and will continue to do, long after the artist has left.

The students are taking over the school!

Thank you

Simon Gray

For more information and photographs please contact me on
Dargaville High School, Artists in Schools Blog:

Further information: 

Dargaville High School Art Department

Contact: Caroline Gray, Head of Art: 09 439 7229 or

Simon Gray, Artist: 09 439 0362

Written by

simon gray

15 Jun 2009