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International street art festival to paint the town

International street art festival to paint the town

Palmerston North is set to become a living canvas when Street Prints Papaioea kicks off this week, 16 - 22 January 2020.

The international street art festival will centre around 16 large scale murals painted by an international contingent of artists from Australia, Ireland, the United States, Italy and Greece, alongside our own homegrown talent.

Presented by Pushing Arts in New Zealand Trust (P.A.I.N.T) and Palmerston North City Council, Street Prints Papaioea is a unique street art festival aimed at connecting the community with art.

Street Prints Creative Director Jah Smith said the festival hopes to unify the local community through the artworks, which will be permanent fixtures in the city.

“Street Prints Papaioea was inspired to combine art with region’s rich history, natural beauty and unique people,” Mr. Smith says.

A Whakatauaki, or “theme”, has been developed for the festival in collaboration with local iwi, Rangitāne. All 16 murals will be themed “kua kakahutia te Rangimarie”, or “under the cloak of peace” to represent the city’s diverse community.

The city’s youth will also have an important role to play during the festival, as organisers team up with local education providers to offer our young people the ultimate hands-on experience alongside the artists.

A Festival Hub will be located at the Square Edge Community Art centre and will have artwork on exhibit from the festival’s artists, and event booklets and maps will be available to pick up.

“As well as watching the murals take shape in real time, visitors can also participate in a number of events throughout the week including live music, food trucks, workshops, an art exhibition, and an auction to help raise funds for P.A.I.N.T.,” Mr. Smith says.

“All events throughout the festival are free to attend and open to all ages.”

Street Prints festivals have been running in Mount Maunganui biennially since 2015, with events in Christchurch and Whangarei added in recent years. The festival will also make its Japanese debut in Hokkaido later this year.

For more information on Street Prints Papaioea visit

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