The wild beauty of Maui’s natural landscape is nothing short of epic.
It is the reason we live here, it is the reason tourists visit.
Little by little, however, residential & corporate influx have made their mark on the lush tropical terrain we call home.
Enter the Maui Coastal Land Trust.
With a mission to preserve and protect Maui’s natural coastal environment, the trust has commissioned an art exhibit at the MACC’s Schaeffer International gallery. The installation will run from January 9 – Feb 19th.
For the past year, these prominent Maui visionaries have been developing a relationship with the lands protected by the Maui Coastal Land Trust. They have been observing, journaling, and creating art inspired by these lands. The group of specially selected painters, videographers, sculptors, have been preparing what would culminate in this presentation.
With unique backgrounds, many of them locally raised, they each have their own unique representation of what Maui means to them.
Jonathan Clark, one of the featured creators, explained, “I was born and raised on Maui, and grew up surrounded by many different cultural folktales and stories, with Japanese influences being the most prominent within our household. My work as an artist is a continuous reflection from that standpoint, reinvestigating the cultures and influences that have made Hawaii into what it is today.”
His installation is composed of several folding screens entwined with a kimono. Together they create a portrayal of the Waihe’e landscape. “The piece is titled “Unfolded Landscape” as a reference to the physical construction of the work, as well as the idea of unfolding the land to reveal the stories embedded within it.”
To get a sense of the energy behind the exhibit, it helps to understand the intention of the Trust that commissioned it.
Susan Conway Kean, a board member of the Trust, and an artist in her own right, said, “I think many people take open space for granted. Our country is losing large tracts of land far too quickly to urban sprawl and development. I believe open space is invaluable to our future survival and cultural health.”
“I also think that artists are the best choice to carry this message to our community”
Through the medium of art, we often are awakened to what has always been right before our eyes. One of the painters, Gabrielle Anderman, explained her approach to the creation process.
“My overall intention was to capture the mana of the land in relation to the impermanent species that have resided on it and raise the following questions: To whom does the land belong? What has been the impact of those who have inhabited it? And, ultimately, does it need our protection?” she queried.
Maui Coastal Land Trust is “a non-political, non-profit organization that works with private landowners, neighborhoods, community groups and government agencies to protect significant environmental and cultural resources.”
The stewarded areas include shoreline access and recreation, endangered species habitats, agricultural lands and culturally significant sites.
Come peruse these thought provoking, awe-inspiring visual offerings that reflect on how these preserved lands contribute to the inspiration that is Maui Nui. You may find a new appreciation for the wilderness in your own backyard.
For more information, go to www.mauiarts.org
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