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Art Exhibition Showcasing Young East Auckland Artists Attracts Outstanding Opening Night

With almost 70 applicants, the Howick Youth Council’s East Auckland Visual Art Showcase kicked off with over 135 guests attending Friday’s opening night.

The exhibition marks the first in-person event to go ahead under the youth council’s post-coronavirus work programme.

Judges Rangituhia Hollis, Fiona Amundsen and Olivia Taita deliberated over 45 showcased works and selected four prize-winners which were announced on the night.

The showcase was produced in partnership with Arts Out East, UXBRIDGE Arts & Culture and Te Tuhi.

For the first time, the showcase included two main categories: Themed Art as well as Open-Entry Art, with an opportunity for artists to submit art related to the theme: ‘Modern and Traditional Connection’.

Howick Local Board chair Adele White and local board members Bo Burns, John Spiller and Mike Turinsky joined the youth council for the evening. Also attending was Howick Ward Councillor Paul Young.

“The last two years were smaller events, but with a 500% increase in artwork this year, we quickly learned two things.

“We have a lot more work ahead of us [because] youth are passionate about the visual arts and we need to do it justice,” says HYC team lead Cuan Pillay, whose youth council team is in charge of the project.

The winner of the prize for themed art was Zoe Pervis for her artwork ‘‘Two Faced Tiger’. Zoe is a student at Pakuranga College.

Third place prize winner of the open-entry art category was Jenny Tran for her artwork ‘Purity Garden’. Jenny is an AUT visual arts student,

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Second place prize winner of the open-entry art category was Natalie Shen for her “Morphed 2.0” sculpture piece. Natalie is a student at Saint Kentigern College.

Overall winner of the showcase was Janet Yu for her watercolour painting “Lost”. Judges described her work as ‘subtle’ but contemporary and memorable. Janet is a student at Macleans College.

The showcase also features a People’s Choice Award with voting continuing until the close of the exhibition — winner announced on Saturday 27th June.

All prize-winners received Prezzy Cards for their works. The exhibition is running for a week from Friday 19th June to Friday 27th June in the Malcolm Smith Gallery at Uxbridge Centre in Howick.

Team 3 would like to specially acknowledge Arts Out East curator Briana Woolliams, UXBRIDGE Centre director Vickie Bowers, UXBRIDGE Centre staff and Te Tuhi director Hiraani Himona for their support.

This project was produced by Team 3 on the Howick Youth Council: Cuan Pillay (team lead), Camryn Chetty, Twinkle Jani, Joanne Ting and Willy Leiataua. Supported by team liaison and deputy chair Jack Collins.

About HYC

The Howick Youth Council is a collective of passionate young individuals striving to make Howick, Botany, Ormiston, and Pakuranga a more attractive and vibrant place for its young people. With 32 members in 2020, HYC is one of the largest youth voice groups operating in New Zealand. We're supported by the Howick Local Board with an aim to represent, develop and connect the young people living in East Auckland through projects and to ensure youth voices are heard in the decisions that shape our city. Learn more about HYC at

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