Bringing an arty Christmas to the CBD

Members of Rainbow Youth create decorations for the Twelve Trees of Christmas display. Supplied photos.

Tauranga City Council and The Incubator Creative Hub are bringing a community and arts focus to Christmas in the city centre.

Twelve Trees of Christmas involved 12 trees decorated by over 20 local schools, tertiary organisations and community groups being displayed in Red Square and on the waterfront.

Three local artists have also been commissioned to decorate a tree each.

The installation provides an opportunity to celebrate a uniquely Kiwi Christmas that will captivate locals and visitors in the lead up to the festive season.

On December 2, the same day as the Trustpower Christmas Parade, there will be an opportunity for the community to get involved and take part in a free workshop on the waterfront. People will be able to paint decorations for the public installation. The workshop will be open from 11am at the Edgewater Fan.

Members of the Omokoroa Art Group making decorations.

“Twelve Trees of Christmas is an opportunity for the community to contribute to a temporary public art project during the festive season – a time where community connectedness and whanau is encouraged and celebrated,” says The Incubator Director Simone Anderson.

The trees themselves take inspiration from New Zealand's native Christmas tree, the pohutakawa, incorporating a stylistic kowhaiwhai pattern, designed by local artist Ashlei Luckman-Taupaki, a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Creative Industries course at Toi Ohomai.

Tauranga City Council Mayor Greg Brownless says the Twelve Trees of Christmas was a unique way to bring some festive cheer to the city centre.

“We see it as a project for the community, by the community. It's an opportunity for more than 700 people in the community to see their artistic talent on show. 

“People have had fun painting decorations over the past few weeks, and will soon get to see their work come together for the community. I am really looking forward to seeing the trees when they are completed.”

Pillans Point Primary students creating decorations for the Twelve Trees of Christmas display.

Some of the community groups involved include; Toi Ohomai students and staff, Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Maungatapu Primary School, Tauranga Multicultural Society, Tahatai Coast Primary School, Te Tuinga Whanau Trust, Te Aranui Youth Trust, Graham Dingle Foundation's Project K, Tauranga Pryde - Rainbow Youth, Bethlehem Primary - Te Ao Huri Huri , YMCA, Pillans Point Primary, Tauranga Society of Artists, Omokoroa Art Group, Welcome Bay Primary, The Te Puke Art Society, and the Tauranga Hospital Children's Ward

The 12 trees will be on display from December 1, 2017 until mid-January 2018.


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