This essay is a montage of reflections and portraits drawing on the work of Pacific Studies students from The Australian National University at the 2012 Festival of Pacific Arts in the Solomon Islands. The festival is a unique quadrennial regional event organised by Pacific peoples for Pacific peoples rather than for a tourist or other visitorsâ€™ market. In 1972 the South Pacific Commission (now Secretariat of the Pacific Community or SPC) established the Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA) to promote, develop and safeguard indigenous expressions of culture in Oceania. Forty years on the event is still going strong with thousands of local and visiting participants and artists gathering every four years to share a wide range of cultural practices. These include dance, music, painting, carving, tattooing, filmmaking, architecture, healing arts, ceremonial arts, literary arts, navigation and canoeing, culinary arts, fashion design and much more. Since 1996 the event has rotated between a Polynesian, Melanesian and Micronesian host country and has played a significant role in not just safeguarding but transforming arts and cultural practices across the region.