Proposal for Yaniv Janson's installation at the Auckland Maritime Museum

Installation at the Auckland Maritime Museum

Draft Proposal by Yaniv Janson

Date: starting the weekend of November 10

Opening event: TBC

Duration of the installation: TBC, 1 month?

Theme: An artist paints about water and society's challenges around its sustainability

Artwork: see below

Touch The World colouring book displays paintings exhibited at the United Nations. The 4 paintings and activities that relate to water/maritime themes are: 

  • Sustainable Goal 14: Life below water, on page 14 to 17
  • Sustainable Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation, on page 29-32
Photos below:

We can also organise Touch the World workshops using the book. Workshops can be adapted to suit school groups, families with children or Auckland City Council. Happy to discuss with you anytime. 
Please see the description of these workshops here.

Touch the World event!

Family event based around the successful exhibition by Yaniv Janson in January 2020.Families gather to discuss the art and how it can inspire to take action - ART-ivism!!

Te Uku Primary School End of Year Please Do Touch Expo!!!

What a joy it was to participate in the end of year expo with the whole school involved in sharing their learning about the UN Sustainable Development Goals inspired from our collaboration!!!

We are in the process of compiling our end of project report. The teachers said that the students have learnt so much through this fabulous collaboration!

Here is the feedback from Pip Mears, Principal, Te Uku school:
Our collaboration project with Yaniv Janson, has engaged our students in learning about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in authentic and meaningful ways. We have been fortunate to have Yaniv’s ‘Please Do Touch’ exhibition of paintings on display in our school hall, where each piece is partnered with another to represent one of the 5 UN Goals. The students have particularly enjoyed viewing these alongside the explanations for each piece in their Sustainable Goals Journal. The explanations about what will happen if we take action as opposed to if we don’t, are thought provoking and motivating for our students. Teachers have facilitated students to link learning in a cross curricular way; through science, social science, the arts, numeracy and literacy, in order to explore these goals further. It has also given relevance to our school values, as students considered and implemented the 5Rs (relationships, resilience, resourcefulness, responsibility, reflectiveness) throughout this learning journey. Inviting experts in to share their knowledge with children has enhanced our connections with our local community also. As part of our learning we have completed associated projects such as; restoration planting around our school stream and at Papahua in Raglan, as well as cleaning up our local beach areas. Some students looked at the impact of their own carbon footprints and how these could be adjusted to more positively support our environment. Our senior students enjoyed exploring the many possibilities of building sustainable cities. Throughout his time, the learning has been on display in classrooms, through the learning journals and has been shared at our school assemblies. Many parents have reported that this learning has prompted many conversations in the home setting also. In bringing this learning project to a close, each student took part in sharing their learning at a Community Exhibition held at school. The students were passionate about sharing their learning with others and were able to do so in an informed and articulate way. This collaboration project has enhanced the understanding of all at Te Uku School about the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals, and significantly, the part we as individuals and communities play in making a difference now and in the future. This has been a relevant and highly valuable learning experience for all involved.
Olivia is in the process of finalising our end of year report, which will be shared here.

Thanks to Olivia Adamson for her enthusiasm and support with this whole project!!!

Raising awareness about Climate Change

My 2010 artists statement for the opening of "Visualising Climate Change" or "Climate Chains" exhibition, ArtsPost gallery, Waikato Museum, Hamilton New Zealand.
Scientists write papers and show graphs about climate change but the truth is that most people in the world are not brave enough to face it, or they think the problems are too big for them to deal with and it is easier to just forget about it and enjoy life with no worries.  Most people think that they cannot change the situation so they leave it to other people like their governments and Prime Ministers to fix it. There are many actions that people can take: use less electricity, less petrol and save non-renewable resources that are finishing.  I hear about the news of temperatures getting warmer or colder all over, that the ice in the North and South poles is melting. This is making it worse for people to live on Earth, houses are lonely in the wind, oceans will rise and take people’s houses away, some plants will not survive the changes in their environment. I think about these things and read about them in books.  I paint pictures of what it will look like if we don’t stop climate change. I paint about what life will be like when climate change gets worse…  That’s just what I do. That’s my message to the world…
"The people who enjoy my art tell me they connect emotionally to my work. I seek to surprise, and having surprised ask my audience to visualise social and environmental change. Art is a channel of communication that uses pre-conscious mechanisms and through which we can raise awareness in the wider public about issues that matter to us. After all scientists and politicians have tried for decades to raise public awareness about climate change but they use numbers and graphs to make their point. It has not worked obviously – but a large size painting on a gallery wall that shows houses in tormented weather patterns – this moves audiences. I am becoming known for my environmental activism"

Royal Society of NZ journalist Brian Johnson visited the exhibition and wrote this "Paint it Bleak" article. The exhibition's subtitle is: Visualising Climate Change - How Long Till The Water Rises?

Te Papa Instructional Designer D. James wrote the following:
Yaniv Daniel Janson – Taking Action Project

A young artist with aspergers inspires international art community with vivid paintings of climate change and creates education resource to enable all children, including those with disabilities, to meaningfully contribute to conversations about global issues.


An artist dream - to inspire disabled people to follow their passion.
Collaborating with Art Teachers around the world through the UNESCO:

"Yaniv Janson has been recognised as a role model through the 12 art and education awards he has received. His pathway was not always clear as he battled with disabilities which he combats daily by developing a visual language through his art. The youngest artist to be invited in the NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Yaniv was recently a finalist for the 2014 Artistic Achievement Attitude Awards. His art website has more information about him as well as his resume.

When his second book Changing the World - One Painting at a Time was recognised as a valuable teacher resource by the UNESCO Asia Pacific Art-educators Hub (APAH), Yaniv donated its pdf file to the APAH, for support staff to download it for free. His motivation was to reach far and wide with staff facing a universal problem - engaging disabled youth meaningfully, whilst having to manage a whole group. Yaniv knows the transformative power of the arts, as his talent was uncovered by his teacher when he was 16 and feeling alienated from the rest of his peers. Pursuing his passion helped Yaniv transcend his disability to participate and contribute.

Now that this resource has been adopted by teachers internationally, Yaniv can focus his energy back home to work with our disabled people, as is the purpose of this project.

Increasing opportunities for disabled people to contribute via employment

Since his project has been nominated by the UNESCO, Yaniv has but one dream: follow on and engage with New Zealand Art Educators and Community builders. Pilot presentations to families, support staff and educators of children with disabilities have been very well received. They have engaged their audiences into a constructive and inspirational dialogue on what can be done immediately, with the resources at hand to engage disabled people and tap into their deep desire to participate and contribute. These presentations inspire people to take action and create change in their organisations and families.

One resource - multiple outcomes! 

The front section of the book is inspirational to a wide range of audiences; our experience has shown that youth with disabilities connect with the colourful art and with guidance, look forward to engaging in creative activity of this kind.

The back section of the book is a manual for people who support disabled people. It links action to pedagogical theory and explains how to engage marginalised people - such as disabled people with views of developing their careers. The Manual details how some activities build the Key Competencies that have been outlined by experts in education and social development as playing a core role in helping disabled people contribute to their communities". 
Yaniv Janson says:

“I travel to schools and day centres for disabled people to inspire educators and staff to raise their expectations about the contribution that can be made by the people they support. I know from first hand experience that support staff often have low expectations about disabled people’s future social contribution, and where interventions have been made, these expectations can increase, opening hosts of new opportunities for disabled people. In many cases, families and carers just need to meet people who they can see have achieved their dreams so they can be inspired by their energy and the happiness that comes from being engaged in what one is passionate about!"

I have met many parents who did not dare dreaming anymore for a great future for their child.

I am not advocating that every disabled person should become an artist… just that in following my passion and gifts I achieved success and happiness – and recognition for the contribution that I am making to my community!

It is about identifying what one is passionate about and putting all our energy in becoming great at it! This can and has changed lives!!” 

Charlotte Giblin the Wallace Morrinsville Gallery curator said:

“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have this exhibition in our new gallery, and Yaniv’s bold, bright canvasses have attracted a lot of attention. The subject matter has been of particular interest to visiting school groups, who have been fascinated to see such confident, expressive work echoing their own fears of a changing world. On my part, I find the later work in Yaniv’s display particularly moving: the loose swirls and spontaneous strokes within Tornados and Turbulence ignite a passionate response and give emphasis to the ever-present plaintive question: what can we do to stop this from happening?  The Gallery walls here have worn Yaniv’s paintings with pride, but it would be selfish to keep them for too long: this exhibition is too important to be kept hidden, or restricted to one Town, one Region, one Country.”

Shortcut to this post:

2019 Artistic Achievement Award!!!

Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards celebrate the contribution of individuals, groups and organisations in providing access to the arts. This year's awards ceremony was held during a banquet at Parliament on Wednesday 11 September.

The judging panel for this award was Stephen Wainwright (Chief Executive, Creative New Zealand), Chris Ford (Arts For All Otago Network member, Disability Advisor, Dunedin City Council and Disabled Persons Assembly Dunedin secretary), Judith Jones (Audio describer and Host, Te Papa, Arts For All Wellington Network member) and Richard Benge (Executive Director, Arts Access Aotearoa).

Of this nomination, the panel said: “Yaniv Janson has achieved critical acclaim, both here and internationally – in particular, representing New Zealand at the UN Headquarters in New York with his exhibition Please Do Touch. Through his art and activism, this talented young artist is building bridges across communities, and engaging people in social and environmental issues. Yaniv’s commitment, achievements, vision and innovation are outstanding.”  

The organising committee chose one of Yaniv's painting for the cover of the night's programme.

Click here for the video clip of the ceremony:  [timecode 40]

Wellington visit

Had a great time visiting Wellington recently: A visit to Te Papa Te Taiao exhibition which develops topics from the Sustainable Development goals - they have some absolutely awesome stations about creating change. It was really nice catching up with Donald James, Learning Innovation Specialist Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, who pitched the idea of involving a team of researchers to quantify the impact at Te Uku school. Finally, had some great conversation with Clare, Iona at the Arts Access Aotearoa office about developing networks to create new collaborations!

Sustainability Journals Te Uku project - February meetings

July school visit movie:

Te Uku starting assembly:

It was awesome to present to eager students and teachers at Te Uku. After a brief introduction, we showed showed the video clip I recorded for the Te Papa new exhibition:

The Te Papa meeting with Donald James, Learning Innovation Specialist was inspirational. Donald showed me some of the cool things that school students can do with virtual tools and that we can include in our collaboration.

The Sustainability Journal Project is taking shape.... We'll start at Te Uku school in Term 2. More to come...

My dream is coming true!

Art-ivism: A brief recap of my interest in the Sustainable Development Goals

In the past decade my work aligns with the recently pronounced Goals for Humanity by the United Nations. On September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda

Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector and civil society. When it comes to humanity's voice, Art and Activism go hand in hand - it's called Art-ivism - and it concerns you and me. Maya Zilberberg created the animation below for my project...

Sustainable Development Goals School Journal update!

Really keen to continue working on our new educational resources where art and social/environmental sciences converge to create identification and action. We have started working with Te Puke school, a little country school near Raglan. Guess what: Pip Mears, Principal used to be my teacher in middle school!!!!! 

Below are a few draft pages and the cover of the Sustainable Development Goals School Journals that each child will receive to work in with their class and teachers:

Journal draft cover
Journal draft Table of Contents
Journal draft introduction
Everything is still open for new ideas and co-design!

Key Competencies 

The educators who collaborated on the Sustainable Journals designed the program with the following key competencies in mind:

Success Criteria: I know I will be successful if I…
·  Share my thoughts about the ideas that the artworks bring up
·  Share my comments and questions about the connection between the artworks and the actions they can inspire
·  Contribute new ideas to discussions as they happen

Participating and contributing
Success Criteria: I know I will be successful if I…
·  Take advantage of all the time I have to work on my project
·  Listen as others speak for students to group their ideas into different categories
·  Take a risk and share my questions or confusions to help my understanding

Using language, symbols and texts
Success Criteria: I know I will be successful if I…
·  Respond with words, drawings or music when sharing my ideas
·  Connect some of the words already written with my words and thoughts to create new ideas
·  Listen and ask questions if I do not understand some of the teacher explanations

Relating to others
Success Criteria: I know I will be successful if I…
·  Listen as others speak for each student to share time and take turns when sharing ideas
·  Recognise that other students may have different ideas to mine
·  Respect other students space and time as we work together

Managing self
Success Criteria: I know I will be successful if I…
·  Use my gentle voice when working with other students so that other groups may concentrate on their projects
·  Have a ‘can-do’ attitude to answer the questions we ask ourselves in class
·  Use class time to think and connect my ideas to the artwork 

Silence is golden project

Spotted on:

Check you the rest of the Public Delivery site to see the other exhibits!!

United Nations Solo exhibition opening!

Wow! What a day!!!

The opening was absolutely awesome!!!!

More media on photo album here. Arts Access Aotearoa story here.

Media from Al Etmanski's blog:

Media from Parent to Parent magazine:

More stories coming soon!

United Nations June 11-14 Installation!

Monday 11 June at 5:45pm: Opening date for my solo exhibition at the New York City Headquarter of the United Nations!!

Guests to assemble at 5:45pm at the 46th Street/1st Avenue UN Entrance to meet a member of the NZ Mission.

Please send us your name and email before June 4 so we can send our guest list to the NZ Mission - we need to be escorted to the exhibition for security reasons!

The exhibition will take place at the Curved Wall, 1st floor of UNHQ Conference Building (backing on to Conference Room 2)

Participation in the #ArtSansExclusion 2018 Europe roadshow

After my 2017 Paris exhibition, my art was selected for the 2018 Exhibition road show "Arts sans exclusion". See Twitter feed: #ArtSansExclusion

This exhibition opened 15 March 2018 in Paris and will travel across Europe until 2019 - catalog below:

Interinvest, 28 March:

Sante Mentale, 18 March:

What are sustainable communities?

Excerpt from the Montenegro conference that Yaniv presented at the EASPD Conference in Montenegro:

From social justice to leadership
Yaniv and Annick Janson

Social justice refers to principles of stewardship, participation, the common good and solidarity as applied to rectifying injustice that the poor and the vulnerable suffer. What if we went one step further: identifying and enabling the development of leadership amongst people with disability?

Five years ago Yaniv Janson launched the Taking Action! UNESCO project, bringing to the fore the leadership messages of people with disability in the areas of social and environmental sustainability. In 2017 Janson developed the Please Do Touch series of installations to make a connection between art, social and environmental issues and disability. The installations focus on high priority themes that address the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Art can facilitate the complex understanding between humankind and its environment through alternative languages involving all our senses. Please Do Touch installations make use of visual, body, oral and kinetic languages to speak to the variety of human experiences - to collaborate and work on humanity’s Sustainable Development Agenda. This project is the vehicle that strengthens his voice and establishes him as a thought leader and ART-itivist, as raising awareness about climate change and how we can address these big issues for instance with the intentional environmental or urban planning that can make a difference.

In Janson’s eyes, he has a unique viewpoint to offer – this could stem from being on the autistic spectrum:

“I know that I have a different point of view. I think about the fact that I paint things in different ways than other artists – for instance I especially want others to touch and take photos of my art.”

Janson uses technology to enable project management: The Taking Action! blog [] serves the double function of: 1. Documenting outcomes in real time for project funders as well as 2. Assist him remember key dates, people and meetings.

Janson is supported by Creative New Zealand funding []: he is partially funded through mainstream channels, which support all New Zealand artists. He also uses his Individualised Funding [from the disability sector] to achieve his life goals and build his career. He plans to build his career up until he no longer needs the financial assistance of the disability sector.