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Fiji Time: 2:28 AM on Thursday 17 April

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Resort sets up gallery in tribute to artist

Ropate Valemei
Monday, December 16, 2013

ABOUT 10 artists gathered at Leleuvia Island Resort at the weekend to display their paintings as a tribute to the late renowned artist Josie Crick.

It was also the birth of the art exhibition gallery at the resort

Resort general manager Colin Philps said the art show, which was dedicated to Josie, attracted many tourists and expatriates.

The exhibition was initially planned by Josie, Mr Philps and a French Polynesian artist, Jaabi Faarai.

"Josie, Jaabi and I had been talking before she passed away and we were planning to organise something like this so it was always in the back of our minds to have this event," Mr Philps said.

Paintings which were hung from the ceiling of the open bure coloured the resort with acrylic and earth paintings from selected painters around Fiji.

Exhibition featured painters such as Josua Toganivalu, Joji Zedart, Reapi Blyde, Craig Marlow, Irami Buli, Mr Faarai, Lambet Ho and Mason James Lee.

"The idea was to also revitalise local art and make them visible in a setting like this and also want to provide an inspiration for these artists to come back to nature and somewhere where there is no distraction, where there is a beautiful scenery and marine life," said Mr Philps.

He said he looked forward to bigger shows next year by inviting more artists for two to three exhibitions a year.

Mr Faarai said instead of doing an exhibition with Josie as planned, he and other artists did a show for her.

"This is a gift for Josie from her fellow artists.

"The resort is very unique and a creative place.

"It is one of the new places that we have here in Fiji because there has to be more and more happening in art," he said.

Officially opening the exhibition, Lynda Tabuya-Semaan, who is also the wife of one of the resort directors Robert Semaan, said it was great to see Josie's legacy live on.

Mrs Tabuya-Semaan said the resort was proud to house some of the artwork that would be featured at the new gallery.