An exhibition aiming to bring the real Opotiki to the Big Smoke opens in a Ponsonby gallery in Auckland next week.
Community leaders say the Eastern Bay of Plenty town is often portrayed negatively and they hope the exhibition will show it in a different light.
The Real Opotiki exhibition will feature work from more than 20 established and emerging artists with connections to the Opotiki district.
District councillor Lyn Riesterer said it was an opportunity to put Opotiki on the map for the right reasons.
"We have a lot of talent here and often those are not the things that make the news and some of the national media that has happened around Opotiki, [well] things have been pretty negative, so that's not how we live our lives and that's not why we enjoy living here."
Te Mete is one of the artists who helped organise the exhibition and agrees Opotiki has had a bad press.
But he said when he moved to the town he became captivated by the beauty of the beach where he lives and of its people - and felt compelled to paint them.
"There's a lot of heart too, you know there's a lot of people that don't have a lot of money here, but they have a lot of love and that's really important to note. I've just been really lucky that I've been able to use my talent to try and capture that."
Ms Riesterer said the generosity of spirit in Opotiki can be seen in the way people get in behind fundraising ventures, such as the exhibition - which will help raise money for a new town library and community centre.
Opotiki District Council planning manager Barbara Dempsey said local artists have been fantastically supportive of the initiative.
"It's really good for them to have an opportunity to showcase their art, to get the emerging artists in a different platform so they can sell art obviously, they're business people. But then the commission from that art would be brought back and would be used to build something, develop something in their home town."
Ms Dempsey said the town's current library does not meet earthquake standards and they want to build a facility that brings the community together.
"A community lounge, in a small community like this, to have something like this where people can come together, where we can have training sessions, where we can teach old and young all of the IT that you need to use these days is our vision."
Studio One Toi Tu in Ponsonby is hosting the exhibition.
The community arts centre is owned by Auckland Council and does not take commission from exhibitions.
Its manager Echo Janman said the Real Opotiki concept aligns well with its goal of supporting artistic communities in rural areas.
Te Mete said the wider exposure would help up and coming artists from Opotiki.
"Not always if you're just exhibiting your work within the community do you get critiqued. You kind of need to leave that environment to explore how your work is received by others."
The exhibition also features well-known artists including Andrew McLeod, Sofia Minson and Jamie Boynton.