Principal aims for High Art in Samoa

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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Principal Pelenato Liufau display his art alongside his students at the School of Fine Arts exhibition at E.F.K.S museum during the Malua Conference.

Principal Pelenato Liufau display his art alongside his students at the School of Fine Arts exhibition at E.F.K.S museum during the Malua Conference.

Assuming the role of the quietly observing figure at the Leulemoega School of Fine Arts exhibition is the Principal and Artist, Pelenato Liufau.

He glides through the gallery taking in the reactions of the viewing public.

Since the merge of the Leulumoega Fou School of Fine Arts with the E.F.K.S Museum in Malua last year, the move has opened up the door to bigger and better possibilities.

This is being witnessed this week with the first student exhibition hosted in the Museum space.

Filled with pride for his students as the viewing public are amazed by the students’ artistic skills, Mr. Liufau tells the Samoa Observer that what is most incredible from his perspective is that he knows how far the students have come in just one semester.

“Right now you are seeing the results of the developing process over 18 weeks,” he said. 

“Most of the first year students didn’t have art skills but if you can imagine seeing them at the beginning till the end of the 18 weeks – there is a big difference and you can see around you that they have improved. It’s amazing.

“It’s a hard job and the main thing for me is that I love seeing them develop their own ideas through to completion through what genre they research such as cubism and expressionism.”

“This is just the first semester and I’m looking forward the exhibition at the end of the year in November because as you can imagine we will see even more improvement and start to witness their unique styles as they shape their unique artistic identities.”

Mr. Liufau was himself a student of the Fine Arts school before he left in 2005 to pursue his Masters in Fine Arts in Auckland New Zealand. 

On his return he took on the role of Principal and applied what he learnt to expand his students learning in the field of Art. 

He has seen a positive change in the students approach to art. In beginning there seemed to be a tendency to copy one another’s work rather than researching and forming their own concepts. Now there is a real drive to seek originality and push their boundaries to carve out the artistic identities.

“I went to the art school in New Zealand at Auckland university, I thought art was just painting and then I discovered that it is a huge field where you can go into any field like film making, screen painting, sign making and architecture. 

“But I also know that art is more than just a career and Art is in every facet of our lives even down to how we decorate our homes or landscape our gardens. Art is important to our lives.

The Art exhibition opened on Friday 18th and exhibits work from year one through to year three Art students after their first school semester. As a complimentary event to the E.F.K.S Fono, the Museum gallery will be open from 9am to 9pm for two weeks. There is a $10 cover charge.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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