The 312 Hub has become a community within the challenging art scene. That’s the blueprint for founder Amiria Puia-Taylor and she says they’re just getting warmed up.
The 312 Hub has just hit the two-month mark and we’re already bursting at the seams with fresh new exhibitions by local artists, education, creative workshops and wānanga driven by our young art community. Our regulars are all sitting in the boardroom marking the moment with group hugs, high fives and humble nods that we’ve literally made our dreams a reality in the 312 - and we’re just getting warmed up.
We are the proud rehearsal home of Saintz Up - Performing Arts Trust (SUPA) and emerging dancers/choreographers such as Ufitia Dawn Sagapolutele, among others. We’re also the safe space for many young creatives needing somewhere to allow their creative aspirations to flourish.
Since early March, The 312 Hub, A Place Where Youth Lead through Community, Change, Creativity and Culture launched with a back-to-back array of activity. We had our very first youth-led group exhibition, Brothers Lord, which comprised a new generation of local artists born and raised in Onehunga. This included works from NAIK, FASI and Serval Fandango who flex (showcase) their neighbourhood through a mix of both new and unreleased artworks from illustration to projection, installation to print. Their work spoke to “bringing up the lords in the hood” of Onehunga - our house, our home. Thanks to REP FM for the support too!
This exhibition became an iconic catalyst for change for our neighbourhood and arts community. Jaimie Waititi and I (the two founders of The 312 Hub) are fortunate to enable young people to develop and lead with their own aspirations and voices through creative arts in a safe space with no restrictions.
The exhibition is now complete, with most of the works sold. We’ve also wrapped three successful youth-led public programmes. The first was Royal Rumble, a 90 minute art battle where LGBTQI Pacific Arts Collective FAFSWAG took the title with music by emerging DJ GARETHXMF, judged by Spycc (SWIDT) Elliot Francis Stewart (TMD) and James Wallace Arts Award nominee Pati Solomona Tyrell. The second was a Tekken tournament led by NAIK with our professional gaming friends Standing Fierce which packed out the whole gallery for a good six hours straight, finishing with a big kaitahi (group feed), a clean-up and an artist talk.
Where to next for the artists? Thanks to ATEED, Basement Theatre and a few other agencies, our artists have all gone on to get further exposure, paid opportunities and a few career developments under their belts. We are stoked to be a part of that! The 312 Hub has become a community within the challenging art scene. This is our blueprint.
Our next exhibition is Sup Sis? by five sisters born and raised in Onehunga. Ceeroc, Tabzjoint, Hoodsavvy, Noodles and Te Wairua, known as the Palalagi Sisters, are all creatives now residing between Australia and New Zealand who each have their own art practice. The sisters have designed their own public programme which includes participation from Onehunga residents, documenting the neighbourhood and eventually creating a zine.
While the sisters are taking over upstairs, downstairs will be launching the ‘Hard to Find Op Shop’ by local resident Mama Rose. An op-shop designed especially for young people 13-24 years of age, with pre-loved goods from our local mums arts and hip hop communities.
In order to keep this mahi (work) going … and the lights on, the water running and the internet churning … we rely on the support of people who believe in our work. If you’d like to support us or get involved you can contact us via our Facebook page.
Amiria Puia-Taylor is part of The 312 Hub – a community group in Onehunga that is occupying a vacant building in Paynes Lane, by Dress Smart. This initiative is part of the redevelopment of Onehunga, which will be implemented over the next 25 years. This will include the development of high-quality public space, mixed styles of housing close to the town centre, facilitating improved public transport and better connections to the Manukau Harbour. Pictured: Mama Rose.