Maui Arts & Entertainment

Jurors Announced for Maui’s Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2018

March 14, 2017, 2:01 PM HST
* Updated March 14, 2:15 PM
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Maui Arts & Cultural Center introduces the three jurors for its signature triennial exhibition, Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2018. Exhibition dates for the Schaefer Portrait Challenge are Jan. 16 to March 18, 2018 at Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Schaefer International Gallery.

The jurors for the Challenge are: Carol Bennett of Kaua‘i, Charles Cohan of O‘ahu, and Jennifer Owen of Maui. The jurors for Schaefer Portrait Challenge will look for portraits that communicate both visually and conceptually.  Beyond technical proficiency, the artist must reveal their subject’s inner spirit or essence, and convey that essence to the viewer.

“Every Challenge portrait is like a marriage of two entities – the subject brings his persona to the table; the artist has his tool box and intent. At some beautiful moment, this teeter-totter can find a perfect balance. As far as execution, I’d hope to see evidence of the artist’s heart, hand, and brain.”  – Carol Bennett

“I am interested in images and forms that challenge the portrait genre in both technique and content. Non-traditional processes and innovative strategies towards material, visual and conceptual approach will be recognized.”  – Charles Cohan

“I look for mastery in the artist’s chosen medium as well as evidence of a strong personal voice.  I will be looking for adventurous approaches as well as confidence and strong conviction.  If the work is good, it will communicate with seemingly effortless vitality.” – Jennifer Owen


Jurying for Schaefer Portrait Challenge consists of two rounds.  At four island-wide preliminary dates, the jurors will review submissions, and semifinalists will be selected at each location based on direct observation of the work by the jury.  Final jurying will take place on Maui, based on review of digital images of the semifinalists’ work from all four jury locations.  (These images will be taken on location by MACC staff.)


Artists interested in participating in SPC 2018 may submit their work at any of four island locations on the 2017 dates as follows:

O‘AHU: Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, 9 a.m. to noon
Honolulu Museum of Art School, 1111 Victoria Street, Honolulu

HAWAI‘I ISLAND: Friday, Sept. 1, 9 a.m. to noon
Wailoa Arts Center, 200 Piopio Street, Hilo


KAUA‘I: Saturday, Sept. 16, 9 a.m. to noon
Kaua‘i Community College, 3-1901 Kaumuali‘i Highway, Lihu‘e

MAUI: Saturday, Sept. 23, 9 a.m. to noon
Maui Arts & Cultural Center, One Cameron Way, Kahului

For entry information, artists are encouraged to access the “Call to Artists” prospectus and SPC2018 application on the MACC’s website at Printed copies are available in paper form at Maui Arts & Cultural Center, or by mail on request. Contact Neida Bangerter, Gallery Director: [email protected] or 808-243-4288.    

The Schaefer Portrait Challenge is open to artists 18 years of age and older who are residents of the state of Hawai‘i. All works entered must be original one-of-a-kind and newly-created specifically for this exhibition.   A broad range of interpretation and style from representational to experimental work is encouraged. Self-portraits are also accepted.

All works entered must be original, one-of-a-kind, and newly created specifically for this exhibition between September 2015 and September 2017. The work may not have been previously shown in any other exhibit, gallery, venue, website, or social media.

Accepted media are drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking and mixed media. Accepted printmaking processes include relief, intaglio, lithograph, and screen print, pulled from limited editions of 20 or less. Photography and computer generated imagery is allowed only when used as a component in a mixed-media work (2 or more combined mediums) based on the acceptable media listed above. With their submissions, artists must submit a statement about themselves and their portrait subject.

The Schaefer Portrait Challenge is a statewide juried exhibition that has been held triennially since 2003, encouraging Hawai‘i artists to present the people of their island communities through explorations in portraiture. This prestigious exhibition carries two substantial cash prizes: the Jurors Choice Award ($15,000), and the Marian Freeman People’s Choice Award ($5,000).


Carol Bennett

Carol Bennett grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, received her AA from UCSB College of Creative Studies, then spent a year on Kaua‘i and established a relationship with the ocean. She received her BFA in painting at the Art Center College of Design. For 15 years, she split her time between LA – painting billboards and backdrops in film studios, and Hawai‘i -getting stoked and exhibiting at Stones Gallery. Bennett’s work has a strong sense of self and place: she patrols the water’s edge and reports on it in her studio. While primarily a painter, her projects dictate their execution, which can result in wildly diverse media such as reverse painting on glass, mosaic, recycled Dacron sails, found objects, and animated LED light shows. She has completed many public art commissions and exhibits in NYC, Massachusetts, Florida, and Hawai‘i.

Charles Cohan

Charles Cohan is Professor of Art and Chair of Printmaking at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His MFA was received from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and a BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts. He works under the moniker ‘Arm and Roller Press’ when printing for artists and during public printing events, and is co-founder of the Honolulu-based print media performance troupe, Lithopixel Refractory Collective. Awards include a U.S. Department of State Artist in Residency Research Grant for travel to Havana, Cuba; a Helpmann Grant residency in Australia; the Hawai‘i State Culture and the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship; and the 2017 Catharine E.B. Cox Award from the Honolulu Museum of Art.

Jennifer Owen

Jennifer Owen is associate professor of art at University of Hawaiʻi-Maui College, where she has taught ceramics, visual arts, and art history for the past 21 years. She earned an MFA in ceramics from the University of Oregon, and a BA in art history from Princeton University. She was head of the ceramics department at Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center for 23 years, until 2006. Three of her ceramic sculptures are in the collection of the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and her work has been juried into shows nationally and internationally.

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