The University of the South Pacific (USP) Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies (OCACPS) recently received a total of $2,038 as a token of appreciation towards the Centre’s support and involvement during the Rarama Art Festival project.
The festival project was held at the OCACPS in October last year. Following the art sales at the gallery, the organising team raised a total of $20,380 from the exhibition, of which ten per cent would be donated to the Oceania Centre and the Fiji Society for the Blind in Vatuwaqa, Suva.
Rarama Art Festival Voluntary Director, Ms Jane Ren Seam said eighty per cent of the funds raised had been paid to the artists.
She added that the committee members agreed during the previous meeting to allocate the remaining $1,500 towards a Fijian film project which Mr Benjamin Wheeler would spearhead with the support of the Rarama Art Festival, Alliance Française de Suva and playwright, Mr Larry Thomas.
Ms Seam said it was pleasing for the committee to showcase the artwork and the drawings of some students from the Fiji Society for the Blind during the festival last year.
Additionally, two artworks showcased during the festival have been earmarked for an exhibition in Japan later this year.
“There is a Japanese curator who will propose the students’ artwork and share it with the Japanese people. The curator will depart Fiji next week along with the artwork. The portraits of the kids will also be showcased to the Japanese audience. All these artworks will be returned next year,” Ms Seam said.
OCACPS Acting Director, Mr Larry Thomas, acknowledged the Committee for spearheading this important initiative.
Mr Thomas stated that the Centre would stand ready to support these critical initiatives impacting vulnerable people at the grassroots level.
He also commended the students at the Fiji Society for the Blind for going the extra mile and being creative with the drawings showcased last year.
“Your drawing is going to a faraway place and a country where other people can see your talents. The main thing is not to waste all the work that you have been doing, it will now travel, and people will see the work that you are doing,” Mr Thomas said.
Mr Thomas stressed that the funds donated by the festival committee would be used for other official activities, promotions and exhibitions at the Centre.