Why Art Matters: Part One, Education
The discourse series Why Art Matters: Unwrapping the benefits of art to our society is looking to explore the role of the arts in our society. Held over a course of four evening events throughout the year, the series will cover different key aspects in which art impacts our cultural, social and economic well-being. In collaboration with partnering organisations and individuals, experts in their specific field, we aim to encourage discussion and a shared exploration of the many reasons why art matters.
Part 1 | 6 March: Education | Celebrating the convergence and diversity of Arts in Education
Part 2 | 22 May: Economy | Art over Real Estate
Part 3 | 14 August: Health & Well-being | Have Art, Be Happy
Part 4 | 28 November: Social Impact | Not just for experts: art engages all
For the first of 4 events, Why Art Matters will kick off with the topic Education: In partnership with the University of Auckland Art History Society, our speakers will discuss the holistic development we attain through our exposure to, and growing understanding of, contemporary art.
Speakers Aroha Silenzio, Creative Director of Ngā Rangatahi Toa, author Mandy Hager, Dr Caroline Vercoe, Senior Lecturer of Art History at Auckland University, and artist, writer and art teacher Heidi Brickell, will share their experience of the role of art in education. The individual presentations will be followed by a lively discussion, whereupon the audience is invited to ask questions and to contribute their thoughts on the topic.
The individual presentations will be followed by a lively discussion, whereupon the audience is invited to ask questions and to contribute their thoughts on the topic.
About the speakers:
Aroha Silenzio is the creative director of Ngā Rangatahi Toa (NRT), a South Auckland based youth development organisation that uses creativity and a whanau-centered approach to engage young people with high and complex needs. Aroha has been working with the rangatahi of NRT facilitating story telling and relationship building through performing arts since 2013. Aroha graduated from Toi Whakaari with a bachelor of performance arts in 2009 and has been working in theatre both as an actor and playwright ever since. Her most recent play '2080' was short listed for the Bruce Mason playwriting award. Aroha is currently directing her focus towards co-design learning through performing arts with marginalized youth.
Heidi Brickell, of Ngati Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Rangitane and Ngati Apakura descent, teaches art, as well as English in an Auckland immersion Māori wharekura. She completed a Master of Fine Arts at Elam School of Arts in 2011 and a Bachelor of Education, with huarahi Māori specialisation in 2015. She continues to practice art in solo, duo and group exhibitions in galleries such as Art Space, Rm, Melanie Roger, and Paul Nache. Her recent writing explores connections between kaupapa Māori, art, and education, and has been published by Art NZ, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery and Papakura Art Gallery. She is currently developing a solo exhibition at Fresh Gallery Otara for this year.
Mandy Hager is a multi-award winning writer of fiction, mainly for young adults. In 2017 she was awarded the D'Arcy Writer's Grant to write an essay for North and South magazine titled 'For Art's Sake', addressing the politics of art and arts education in NZ. Her latest book is an historical novel for adults, titled ‘Heloise’. She is a trained teacher who tutors aspiring novelists as part of Whitireia's Creative Writing programme.
Dr Caroline Vercoe teaches and researches global art histories and Māori and Pacific art in Art History at The University of Auckland. She has particular interests in issues of race, gender and representation and has been publishing, curating and teaching in these areas for over twenty years. She has recently completed a three-year term as Associate Dean (Students) in the Faculty of Arts.