Partnership starts revitalising town centre at Otara

Press Release – Manukau Institute of Technology


Walk through the Otara Town Centre and you may become aware of a transformation taking place. As part of a partnership between Manukau Institute of Technology and the Otara Business Association, work is underway to revitalise the run down town centre.

The latest additions are three vivid Francis Pesamino prints lining the Otara Integrated Health Centre wall.

Black-on-white prints, they showcase Francis’ signature style of using text to create stunning images.

For the Otara Town Centre project, Francis has created a shark, sea turtle and stingray using words describing Otara, combined with Pasifika and Maori culture and values.

The three prints point towards the town centre and Rewi Thompson’s fish canopy which shelters it.

Francis, a MIT Visual Arts graduate, says the images can be seen as representing the different cultures of Otara united in one place. The sea creatures are the people of Aotearoa arriving here from the ocean in the search of opportunity.

MIT Visual Arts senior lecturer Steve Lovett says Francis’ work will be on display for approximately a month, with other artists from MIT having the opportunity to showcase their creations as well.

Called the “Otara Window” the three glass enclosures where art is displayed will be connected to the revamped and relocated Fresh Gallery Otara, which officially opens in the town centre at the end of March.

Manurewa based Francis is thrilled his work is the first to be displayed in the Otara Window, and says it is great exposure given the busy location. Francis is also one of the local artists chosen to exhibit at Fresh Gallery Otara this year.

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