Author: Lynette Fisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Nik Williams - painter, art teacher and now resident studio artist at The Incubator Creative Hub, is not one to sit around and wait for opportunities to come to him.
Having recently immigrated from the UK to Tauranga with his family, Nik immediately went out to find where the creative hot spots were, and how to get involved with contributing to his newly adopted community via the benefits of art and culture.
Of course he found The Incubator.
Located at The Historic Village in 17th Avenue, The Incubator is the arts and culture hub and champion of grassroots arts and music for the Bay of Plenty. Nik now has a studio space where he is found every day working on either personal projects, commissions, or most recently the powerful mural project he has just completed for the Hillier Community Centre, Mount Maunganui.
The Hillier Centre had contacted the Incubator, asking if there were any artists interested in taking on the challenge of creating a mural to liven up the common spaces in their bustling community premises. From there, an application for funding through the Tauranga Creative Communities scheme was made, the funding obtained helping to deliver two large mural panels featuring scenes of flora and fauna particular to the Bay of Plenty region.
The murals also feature some strong messages of hauora (wellbeing) and Nik’s focus around the power of working together as one - not as individuals but as a collective with art as the platform.
“As soon as we saw Nik’s work, we knew he would be the right fit for the job – he has a unique way of interpreting the story of a landscape visually” says Incubator founder and director Simone Anderson. Nik was also pleased with the result - “I'm really pleased, hopefully they will do the trick of enhancing the corridor and bringing a smile to people's lives”
The Creative Communities Scheme facilitator Lena Kovac, says “The Communities Scheme (as provided by Creative New Zealand) is a fantastic vehicle to enable creative grassroots projects to come to fruition that would otherwise not have the financial means. Over the past five years about two hundred projects have received funding though this scheme in the Tauranga region. Nik Williams' murals for the Hillier Centre is one of the many great projects that demonstrate how communities can be engaged and transformed through art.”