By Diane Ako
Hawai'i Pacific University, a longtime supporter of the arts in the public community, has an art gallery at its Windward campus. "The primary focus of the gallery is the showing of art in a variety of media produced by artists who live and work in Hawaii. The gallery provides 2,000 square feet of open exhibition space allowing for wall-mounted and free-standing displays," according to its website.
It has a year-round exhibition schedule whose primary focus is to showcase the work of artists who live and work in Hawai‘i. The current exhibit, on display from November 24, 2013 – January 17, 2014, features the work of a Maui photographer and a Windward painter/ printmaker.
Kama'aina Chronicles is the title Nancy Vilhauer gave to her series of local folks, mostly hula girls, caught in the "in between" moments of performance. Her artist's statement says:
“Story. Telling. Hearing. Inventing. Stories received through the long tube of time. Silent. Speaking volumes. Extraneous visual noise filtered out. Cultural stories reaching up through time. Cultural stories reaching back. What is new? What is the same? Do young girls get nervous before their halau steps on stage? Did their great- great-grandmothers fidget in church 85 years ago? Do the lei makers dream of a day on the beach?
Who wants to know these stories? I do.
Who wants to bring these stories forward?
I will try.”
Maui photographer Gwen Arkin's exhibit, Listen to the Trees, is the culmination of nearly three years' work photographing the garden of former poet laureate W. S. Merwin. "Merwin’s generous sharing of his property and quiet support of the artist’s artistic voice lends this work deep significance, infusing each image with far more than documentary value. Ms. Arkin intends to remind the viewer that while her processes are material and governed by time, this ethereal, majestic garden abides by a different order. Herimages pay homage to the palm forest and its individual trees, as well as to the recognition she shares with Merwin of the fleeting, fugitive beauty of the life of a forest. The finished prints offer a view of the forest and its spirit, but more importantly, lends it another voice to the forest itself," according to her artist's statement.
It's a beautiful series - I attended opening night. The Hawai‘i Pacific University Art Gallery is located on HPU’s windward Hawai‘i Loa campus, 45-045 Kamehameha Highway, in Kaneohe. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Parking and admission is free and the public is invited. For more information call (808) 544-0228.