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Massey student-artists won four of the five categories at this year’s Student City Arts and Cultural Awards.
The awards recognise Palmerston North’s most talented and vibrant tertiary students from Massey, UCOL and Te Wananga o Aotearoa in a range of disciplines from fine arts, weaving, drama, singing, poetry, painting, dance to film and music. It also includes cultural aspects of student life, rewarding students for their involvement in and services to clubs, societies and student events and campus activities.
Massey University English and Media Studies tutor and awards judge Joy Green says the event is an important celebration of the contribution students make to arts in Palmerston North. Sunday night’s award ceremony featured performances by student-artists, and Massey’s current artist in residence, Vanessa Stacey. “The atmosphere was lively and creative, as was appropriate to the nature of the achievements being recognised,” she says.
Massey was particularly prominent this year, with clubs awards as well as a number of excellence and contribution awards across all arts categories. Four of the five overall category winners were Massey students: Rob Thorne in music, Div Collins in performance art, Fabian O'Halloran in artistic facilitation, and Sarah Jane Barnett in literary arts (a category dominated by Massey).
Anu Sefton from UCOL won the visual arts category, and was overall artist of the year. Ms Sefton studied expressive arts at Massey before moving to UCOL to do a Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging. She maintains close connections with Massey, providing photography for university-sponsored events such as Summer Shakespeare and The River.
Massey’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) won the most promising club of the year, for its commitment to connect with the community, and Massey’s Surf, Snow and Skate Club took out club of the year, recognising its positive impact on its members and the wider student population.
The judges noted SIFE raised $1543 for the Living Below the Line project, and its members volunteer at English Corner and Nest Egg, a programme empowering intermediate pupils to save for themselves, while Surf, Snow and Skate now have 250 members, and run weekly trips to the snow and coastline. It has also participated in Relay for Life, Orientations and sent members to volunteer at the Taranaki ASP women’s world surf tour.