Carving a leader

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At the Kāpiti Arts Award dinner on Friday 3rd of August Owen Mapp, principal carver at Whitireia, was presented with the Kāpiti Arts Trust Supreme Award for his contribution to the visual arts on the Kāpiti Coast over the last twenty years. In a citation that traced his unique background experience as a travelling researcher of ancient cultures across five continents, and his roots in archaeology, Owen's lifetime of carving was given recognition as a leader in its field within New Zealand.

In his acceptance address, Owen spoke eloquently of the value of the tutor/student dialogue in maintaining the development in both and made a plea for a centre for Māori carving on the Kāpiti Coast.

Owen Mapp with student

Owen Mapp with a student in the carving workshops at Whitireia

Peter Biggs, chairperson of Creative New Zealand, gave the keynote address, Staking a claim for imagination, ingenuity and passion as part of the knowledge economy.

An imaginative and varied programme of entertainment, with Ian Fraser as Master of Ceremonies, culminated in an auction of art works and a breath-taking high rope act. Aerial sculptures contributed by students at the Whitireia Kāpiti campus decorated the space and yielded $1,500.00 for a student fees scholarship when auctioned. Several were bought by the polytechnic to decorate public spaces in the buildings.