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Wellington Streets Getting Back to Nature

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Drive By Art is a public art programme which began last year. An initiative run by Wellington City Council's Community Arts Office, it saw banners featuring innovative summer designs by Wellington…

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Drive By Art is a public art programme which began last year. An initiative run by Wellington City Council's Community Arts Office, it saw banners featuring innovative summer designs by Wellington schoolchildren installed on Oriental Parade to help mark the opening of Oriental Beach in January of this year.Drive By Art is a public art programme which began last year. An initiative run by Wellington City Council's Community Arts Office, it saw banners featuring innovative summer designs by Wellington schoolchildren installed on Oriental Parade to help mark the opening of Oriental Beach in January of this year.Drive by Art continues to expand with new ways to encourage creativity and present original public art. In a joint venture between the Council and the Department of Conservation, creative young Wellington minds have been invited to mark Conservation Week from 2-8 August with new works of art. Carrying a theme of Conservation with Communities, it aims to celebrate grassroots involvement and the difference communities can, and do, make to the New Zealand environment. The conservation-theme banners will be created by Wellington's school during the current term, and will go up from mid-July. Up to 32 Drive by Art banners will remain on display at Oriental Parade through the winter.

The Council's Community Arts Co-ordinator, Eric Holowacz, says the theme will challenge students to think and learn more about local resources and how to take a more active role in preserving and conserving them, and is calling for local schools to get involved.

"The Conservation Week theme will provide an opportunity for parents, students, and the wider community to have a closer look at what conservation means, especially to young people," he says.

Invitations to participate have been sent to Wellington schools, and teachers and students have two months to complete their banners. All materials and paints will be supplied by the City Council.

"The first Drive By Art programme was a huge success, with entries from about 20 schools. We're hoping for even more interest this year. Thanks to our major sponsor, Resene, there's plenty of paint to go round," says Eric.

Department of Conservation Community Relations Ranger Chandra Littlewood says the theme provides the perfect opportunity to combine conservation awareness, community involvement and collective creativity. "We hope that dozens of schools and hundreds of students join in and observe Conservation Week and help generate greater awareness and action for the environment. Conservation is a team effort, and the more people on the team the better."

For further information contact:

Eric Holowicz, Community Arts Coordinator, on 385 1929 or at arts@wcc.govt.nz

Chandra Littlewood, DOC Community Relations Ranger, tel 470 8416

Written by

Eric Vaughn Holowacz

5 May 2004

Eric Vaughn Holowacz was born in Princeton, New Jersey and grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. He attended Irmo High School, and was a member of its National Championship academic Quiz Bowl Team in 1986.

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