Artists pay tribute to P.M. with newspapers masterpiece

By Yolanda Lavata’i 23 November 2018, 12:00AM

On the 20th year of Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi as Samoa’s Prime Minister, a 25-year-old Fine Arts teacher, Opapo Arona from Faleula with assistance from some of his students, have created an artwork of him using newspapers.

The work is among the pieces displayed during the E.F.K.S. School of Fine Arts and Museum exhibition at the Malua Museum.

From all the colorful paintings and exquisite artworks, the artwork of Tuilaepa has to be one of the best ones, according to the Principal, Liufau Pelenato Ioane.

“We had a lot of people during the exhibit and they gave us positive comments,” Liufau said.

Opapo was a former student of Leulumoega College and has worked as an art teacher at Malua for three years. He was assisted by three of his students, Matagiese Peteru, Taeao Mafua and Avealalo Siitaga, in creating the artwork.

“This artwork was dedicated to the Samoa Observer,” Liufau said. “It was a group work effort presenting how the media told the Prime Minister’s story both the good and bad, and they named this piece Talking Walls.”

The project also instilled in the participants the importance of using recyclable materials. 

Two bundles of Samoa Observer newspaper were used in making the wall art. 

Liufau said it was the first for their artwork to be created using newspapers, and he has seen how the project has broadened a lot of students vision in making art.

The reason they chose the Prime Minister to be the focus of their artwork, Opapo said, was: “Because he was the most featured person in the media. For whatever reason, the Prime Minister was always on TV and the newspaper.” 

Twenty-one-year-old Matagiese from Fasitoo Uta said: “I really enjoyed working on the artwork of the Prime Minister because the technique was new to me. I have never done art aside from painting and carving, but working on this project has really helped me think more creatively.”

Avealalo said the project was challenging in terms of formatting the newspaper’s colour scheme to the wanted outcome. He said it took time but he was amazed with the outcome.

The college’s youngest student, Taeao Mafua, who transferred from Tafuna High School, said: “I moved here to pursue my passion as an artist because American Samoa does not have high school that offers art classes. I have learnt so much since I have arrived and everyone here work well together. There are so many talented artists in this school.”

The school will host their graduation at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 5pm. 

By Yolanda Lavata’i 23 November 2018, 12:00AM

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