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Whitireia graduate to compete at World Art Games

Whitireia graduate to compete at World Art Games

Whitireia Visual Arts and Design graduate Keri-Mei Zagrobelna is raising funds to attend the 2015 World Art Games in Slovakia in September.

Keri-Mei graduated from Whitireia with a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Visual Arts and Design) in 2013 and is now an award-winning jewellery maker based in Wellington. She works primarily with metal-based materials and stone, including pounamu/greenstone, and uses jewellery art as a means of exploring cultural uniqueness and diversity.

“I was raised in museums and art galleries,” said Keri-Mei, whose ancestry includes Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Te Ātiawa lineage. “Growing up in this rich environment made me passionate about working in an artistic field that allows me to acknowledge my heritage and culture.”

Her potential was picked up early at Whitireia, winning a scholarship from the New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women for her studies. Since then, Keri-Mei has gone on to win a number of awards, including a Mana Zonta Design Award, and a QUOIL Gallery Award and Mentorship Program placement.

“This kind of recognition is important for artists, it keeps you motivated,” she said.

Keri-Mei was first invited to attend the World Art Games in her last year at Whitireia, but she felt she wasn’t quite ready as an artist so decided not to go. This year, however, is a different story. She says she is incredibly excited about the event, and is looking forward to teaming up with the other four artists travelling from New Zealand.

“The games provide excellent opportunities for networking,” she said. “I’m really interested to hear what international artists and designers think about New Zealand jewellery.”

The World Art Games is a bi-annual event that hosts exhibitions, presentations, collaborative activities and creative workshops with artists and creative groups from around the world. The New Zealand World Art Games Committee is a small but dedicated group of artists that relies on funding, fundraising, donations and patronage to participate in the games.

Keri-Mei has set up a PledgeMe account to help fund her trip. Pledges can be made by visiting


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