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Fun and learning in environmental art awards

Fun and learning in environmental art awards

For immediate release: Friday 22 July 2005

An environmental art award that usually attracts over 400 entries is a “fantastic and fun” way for children to learn about the natural world, says the organiser.

Now in its 8th year, Environment Bay of Plenty’s annual art awards encourage students to think about their relationship with the environment and how they affect it, explains coordinator Esther Mae. Many teachers also view the event as an opportunity for learning and organise class lessons around it.

The awards have an annual theme, around which entrants base their artwork. This year’s theme supports the Conservation Week topic: “Everything is connected”.

“We know that everything in the environment and the world around us is connected in some way. So every action that we take has an effect somewhere down the track, whether positive or negative,” Ms Mae says. “Entrants will be expressing this concept in the artwork they create.”

She encourages teachers to run a small teaching unit around Conservation Week or to delve into the theme in lessons. The latest Pollution Busters Club newsletter, which is posted on Environment Bay of Plenty’s website, contains activities suitable for classroom use.

But it’s mostly about “having fun and being creative”, she adds.

Open to all Bay of Plenty students, the award is split up into four categories this year, junior primary, upper primary, intermediate and junior secondary. Prizes are awarded for first, second and third in each category, with a prize for the winning school as well. Paengaroa artist, Luke Hollis, joint winner of the Molly Morpeth Award in Whakatane, will be judging the event.

Entries close on Thursday 9 September, with exhibitions of winning artworks held throughout the region in early October.


Environment Bay of Plenty’s Esther Mae starts to take down last year’s framed artworks in preparation for a new group of environmental art award winners. This artwork, in the stairwell of the council’s Whakatane office, is by Jenee Tibshraeny of Bethlehem College.

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