What a huge response! The Mangawhai Community came through the doors of the Mangawhai Artists Inc. Gallery in droves from 9am to 4pm on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April to paint their connection to Mangawhai on a plywood stingray. “Over 300 visitors and painters came through to enjoy this Free Community Painting Weekend in a relaxed and spontaneous atmosphere, where young and old painted and chatted together,” says Rosina Kamphuis, creator of Project Stingray’s iconic concept and design, and the project ‘s organiser.
By Sunday morning there were no more of the 101 plywood stingrays left, and the community continued to paint on plywood off-cuts and floor to ceiling stingray banners, until the end of the week that followed, on the same “drop in and paint” basis. The results are amazing. 58 of the 101 stingrays are now constructed on the 2 giant rays on the exterior gallery wall facing the Village library as a permanent installation, a collaborative, community work of art, unveiled on Saturday afternoon 20 May by the youngest painter Mac Clews, accompanied by the Patron of Mangawhai Artists Inc., Malcolm Roberts. How were the mini-rays selected? “They represent all of the 101 painted”, says Rosina, “ all ages, kids and families, artists, businesses, everybody!
Mayor Gent honoured the Opening of Project Stingray’s Exhibition with his presence, and the community flowed into the Gallery to see the brilliantly painted exhibits. Wow! We want more Community Art Experiences! Brilliant! Thank You! was the overall community message to Mangawhai Artists Inc.