Newark welcomes Polynesian art

November 28, 2017 by  

A new exhibit has opened at the LeFevre Art Gallery on the Ohio State University at Newark/Central Ohio Technical College campus.

Called ‘The Art of Ngatu: Tradition, Innovation and Community in Polynesia’, the exhibit features the works of Ruha Fifita and Dame Robin White. Dame Robin is a New Zealander, and Ruha Fifita hails from Tonga. The exhibit includes ephemera, film, photography, traditional tapa (which is beaten bark cloth), and original works of art.

Dame Robin was born in Te Puke, New Zealand, and won recognition in the 1970s for her work as a painter. Since the late 1990s, she has been working with tapa in collaboration with indigenous women. Using traditional techniques, materials, and processes, she creates works that reflect timeless values.

Like Dame Robin, Ruha Fifita is an internationally-known artist who is working with ngatu (tapa cloth), and who recently had an exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria, located in Melbourne, Australia. Fifita is an advocate for keeping indigenous culture alive, which she sees as one of the Pacific’s strengths.

The artworks will be on exhibit until May 1, 2018 in LeFevre Hall on University Drive in Newark. Admission is free.

Organizers of this kind of event can make it more enjoyable by working with a flyer printing company to create a handout describing the works and the artists.