Art exhibition paying dividends to students

An art exhibition that National University of Samoa [N.U.S.] art students are hosting in partnership with a local cafe is reaping financial rewards for the upcoming artists.

Called "Connecting the dots" art exhibition, the university’s art students have partnered with Connexions Cafe to hold the exhibition, which has enabled them to market themselves professionally as well as sell their artwork. 

The Connexions Cafe exhibit is an extension of the current exhibition at the EnT's Cafe, and encourages art students to look for ways to show their artwork in alternative spaces, where they can collaborate with small businesses in and around the vicinity of Apia.

The N.U.S. President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alec Ekeroma, thanked Connexions Cafe for letting the students display their art at the eatery and encouraged everyone to purchase the artwork in order to help the students and the N.U.S Art Agency.

He said it is fantastic for the students to express what they feel in the paintings that they create and added that he was impressed with their skills.

N.U.S. Faculty of Education’s senior visual arts lecturer, Matatumua Leua Latai told the Samoa Observer in an interview that “Connecting the Dots” is where students can take what is learned in the classroom and put it out in the real world.

She added that this is a way of marketing themselves as an artist by working with the local community and local businesses.

“Throughout the semester they were required to work on projects throughout the 14 weeks so today is the final display, and exhibition of some of the works that students have produced over the 14 weeks,” she said.

According to Matatumua, she trains the students to undertake proper labelling of their art pieces as well as pricing. Money earned from sold paintings will go to the artists and the university in order for more artwork material to be purchased.

She revealed that the first art exhibition at EnT Cafe was successful as they earned $3000 and the students need to realise that this is good exposure for them.

The senior lecturer emphasised that there is a difference between selling artwork at the flea market and to high end clientele.

Irae John Tanuvasa, an N.U.S. Foundation student in visual arts at the Faculty of Education, told the Samoa Observer that having his artwork displayed at the art exhibition makes him feel special and is one of the best things that has ever happened to him.

“This is a big opportunity to express my true talent to many people and to inspire many younger generations,” he said.

Mr. Tanuvasa has always dreamt of becoming an artist and indicated that his parents had always pushed him to draw in order to have a life of success in the future.

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