Multicoloured Mauao wins art competition

Jahren Ralia and her winning drawing.

A drawing of Mauao incorporating a multi-coloured kiwi, hongi and more than 20 flags has won the inaugural Tauranga Art in Schools competition for 2020.

Jahren Ralia, age ten, a pupil at St Mary’s Catholic School, is the overall winner and Facebook favourite winner of the competition which was originally planned to be part of the Tauranga Multicultural Festival.

Year 5 and 6 students from schools around Tauranga were encouraged to enter the first Art in Schools competition titled: ‘Migrant Communities Near You’. The festival was cancelled due to the COVID-19 lockdown, but the art competition went ahead.

“The Primary School Art Competition was designed to engage the younger members of Tauranga’s school community with our cultural diversity,” says Multicultural Tauranga Creative Officer Alessandra Tilby. “We took it to school principals in the Bay in February 2020. Three schools managed to get their entries in before the COVID-19 lockdown.”

St. Mary’s Catholic School had 19 entries, Gate Pa School had 15 entries and Papamoa Primary School had four entries. Rainbow Ciabal, age 9, won the Gate Pa School competition with a drawing of the Chiang Mai’s Yee Peng Lantern Festival. Zeijah Lawrence, age 10, was the winner for Papamoa Primary with a drawing incorporating the American eagle, the New Zealand kiwi, the teepee and the Marae, to convey New Zealand and the United States.

“As this was the first year of the competition, we decided to restrict the competition to senior primary students,” says Alessandra.

“Year 5 and 6 students were invited to use their creative talent and create images of what multiculturalism meant to them.

“Once the festival was cancelled we decided we did not want the efforts of the children to go to waste so we posted drawing boards on Facebook and asked our Facebook friends to vote.”

The prize for the overall winner is a pre-paid Visa Gift Card to the value of $200. Individual school winners receive pre-paid Visa Gift Card to the value of $25.

“It was a most enjoyable and successful competition with some very excited children and very happy parents.”

The entries have been posted to

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