Inspiration galore as Top Student Art exhibition arrives in Rotorua

Sydney Riley from Rotorua with her photography portfolio featured in Top Art 2022. Photo/Supplied

There will be no shortage of creative inspiration with the return of the Top Art exhibition to Rotorua.

Top Art is an annual exhibition showcasing some of the best visual arts portfolios from New Zealand secondary schools, toured by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Organized by the Rotorua Museum, this showcase of New Zealand’s talented youth will be open to the public at Rotorua Library, Te Aka Mauri (Level 2) from 14 March 12pm to 25 March 12pm.

This year a student from Rotorua is exhibiting his work in Top Art – Sydney Riley, (John Paul College) has been selected for his photography portfolio.

One of Sydney Riley's portfolio photos.  Photo / Provided
One of Sydney Riley’s portfolio photos. Photo / Provided

Emma Liley, Head of Education at the Rotorua Museum, explains that a variety of mediums are included in the exhibition – painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking and design.

Most portfolios are displayed on physical art boards, but some students chose to show their portfolio using a moving image.

She says exposure to this exhibition in Rotorua is a great opportunity as it motivates and gives students an understanding of what is needed to achieve Excellence or Scholarship in Visual Arts at NCEA Level 3.

“It gives people a chance to see the work our talented young people are producing in schools.

“It’s exciting to see how creative New Zealand youth are.”

Emma says that visitors to the exhibition each year are amazed by the talent and creativity on display, and she knows that students use it as a great source of inspiration for their own portfolios.

She encourages people to make sure they don’t miss anything.

The Rotorua Museum Education Team is accepting school bookings to view Top Art 2022. Contact [email protected] or call (07) 351 7835.

The exhibition is visible during library opening hours, except closed by appointment for school groups.

Visitors to the Rotorua Library need a vaccine pass to enter.

For those unable to attend the exhibition in person, images from all portfolios will be posted on Facebook @NZQATopArt (
The exhibit can also be downloaded from the NZQA website.