ARTS League Hopes to Build Art Museum in Lahaina

August 19, 2015, 1:53 PM HST · Updated August 21, 5:11 PM
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Courtesy photo: (L to R) Theo Morrison, Lois Reiswig and Janet Allen are presidents of West Maui Cultural Council that created the popular Maui Plein Air Paining Invitational event. The council changed its name to Maui ARTS League and announced their new project to build a visual fine arts museum in Lahaina.

Courtesy photo: (L to R) Theo Morrison, Lois Reiswig and Janet Allen are presidents of West Maui Cultural Council that created the popular Maui Plein Air Paining Invitational event. The council changed its name to Maui ARTS League and announced their new project to build a visual fine arts museum in Lahaina.

By Maui Now Staff

The Maui ARTS League, formerly known as the West Maui Cultural Council, has set a goal of building a fine arts museum in the West Maui town of Lahaina.

Maui ARTS League’s President, Lois Reiswig, says the organization’s new name and focus reflect a mission “to showcase, cultivate and build appreciation for visual fine arts.”

In an announcement today, representatives with the Maui ARTS League say they want to foster art appreciation with a West Maui Visual Fine Arts Museum.

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The museum would house permanent collections and host special exhibits for the Maui community and visitors alike, leaders of the group said.  Starting this fall, the Maui ARTS league Committee will run focus groups to assess community interest, and to collect ideas and support for the museum.

Photo courtesy Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational.

2015 file photo courtesy Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational.

“Our vision is to gather a vibrant and enthusiastic organization of art lovers and to create a place where our community and visitors may experience world-class paintings, sculpture and photography,” said Reiswig.  “The museum will also be a venue for special visual fine arts events and art educational programs,” she said.

Reiswig said Lahaina has several art galleries already and has become an “art mecca” for visitors and residents alike. “We have historical museums, but we believe a permanent fine arts museum, open to the public will be a very positive addition to our community,” she said.

The West Maui Cultural Council nonprofit group was formed in 1975 by a group of Lahaina citizens concerned about preserving art and cultural traditions.  Through its early years, the group was led by Janet Allan, Mary Helen Lindsey, Marian Freeman, Theo Morrison and Lois Reiswig.

The group began sponsoring art and cultural activities in West Maui, and under the leadership of Theo Morrison, started the popular Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational.  The week-long signature competition event is held in collaboration with Village Galleries and Maui “Islanders – Hawaii Plein Air Painters,” and sends artists into the outdoors to capture the sights and scenery of Maui.

The next Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational is scheduled to take place Feb. 13 to 21, 2016, and includes participation from 26 artists who will paint on location at selected sites around Maui.  Organizers say that each year, the event draws big crowds who buy about $100,000 worth of freshly painted original artworks.

Interested members of the public are invited to become members of newly renamed Maui ARTS League.

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