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“Art with Heart” Benefit at Seabury Hall

By Maui Now Staff

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The club members and their work after the show, “Silence and Noise” held last April. Photo by Makena Gadient.

“Art with Heart,” a student-run philanthropy club at Seabury Hall, will hold its third art fundraiser showcase, entitled “Transitions,” on Friday, Nov. 30, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the school’s new Auli‘ikohunua Creative Arts Center.

Art with Heart, which is co-directed by club members Ariella Brandon and Mackenze Tezak, shares students’ original works of visual art and performance art pieces with the community.

Tezak claims that it is “so much more than a high school art show.” Its aim is to live up to its namesake: it is an art show with heart, and one that attempts to create positive change in the world.

Art with Heart club members selected the theme of “Transitions” to “symbolize the changing of the seasons and the ongoing transformation of our planet—as well as the in-between stages where truth exists,” says Tezak.

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Carter Umetsu playing violin and Carley O’Donnel playing piano in their performance of Hikari by Utada Hikari. Photo by Makena Gadient.

The evening of “Transitions” will begin with an exclusive gallery showing of paintings, photographs, drawings and designs created by Art with Heart visual artists, followed by live music, dance performances and poetry readings at 7 p.m.

Select pieces of handmade art will be sold during a silent auction, and all proceeds will assist Art with Heart’s mission to provide clean water and other critical services in third-world countries.

This isn’t the first time the club has raised funds to build life-saving water infrastructure for those in need—in communities that are half a world away.

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Rhiannon Hernandez and Lauren Hecker display one of the many t-shirts waiting to be tie-dyed that were sold at the show last year. Photo by Makena Gadient.

Thanks to generous community support, Art with Heart raised a total of $8,456 during two benefit shows last year, and these funds were used to construct a water catchment and filtration system in an orphanage in Uganda with the nonprofit organization, Peace for Paul, and another system at a school in Kenya, with the Build Africa development charity.

At home on Maui, the club works to inspire artistry and creativity in local youth. Last year, Art with Heart spearheaded a biweekly volunteer program at the Ke Hale A Ke Ola Resource Center in Wailuku, where club members—armed with paintbrushes, colored paper, glue and glitter—worked on art and crafts projects with the keiki living at the shelter. “It’s so rewarding to go down to the homeless shelter and see the grins on the kids’ faces as they run up to greet us and find out what kinds of supplies we’ve brought to create with that day,” said Tezak.

The club also teamed up with Best Buddies Hawai‘i, an international organization that creates opportunities for special needs children, to create a schedule of activities centered on imagination, innovation and—of course—art.

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Makenze Tezak, dancing a hula she choreographed to the song “Harbor” by Josh Ponder. Photo by Makena Gadient.

“This is my favorite part of the club,” said Brandon. “It’s perhaps the most important, because of the lack of arts in public schools in Hawai‘i right now.”

This month, Art with Heart has pledged to raise $10,000 by the end of the year. Tezak says this is not an arbitrary number – to the contrary, it’s the amount the club needs to make much-needed improvements at an impoverished school in Nicaragua, as well as a day care program in Peru visited by a Seabury Hall student last summer.

Tezak and Brandon, along with the rest of the Art with Heart club members, hope that the Nov. 30 event will raise enough funds to help these Nicaraguan and Peruvian schoolchildren make happy, healthy transitions—today, tomorrow and in the future.

“Come bask in the talent of young artists of Maui,” said Brandon, “and help them make a difference in their world.”

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Ariella Brandon and Kelsey Greenway, the founders of the club in front of the community art project created at their first show October 2011. Photo by Makena Gadient.

In addition to the “Transitions” gallery showing, live performances and silent auction, there will be refreshments, as well as T-shirt, bracelet and Christmas ornament sales to benefit Art with Heart.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Admission is free for children under the age of five. Tickets are available for pre-order and at the door. Call the Seabury Hall Box Office at (808) 573-1257 or visit www.seaburyhall.org for reservations.

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