Maui Arts & Entertainment

“Piero Resta: Illuminatus” Exhibit Opens on Maui

May 17, 2017, 5:08 AM HST
* Updated May 17, 5:16 AM
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The Maui Arts & Cultural Center presents a new exhibition comprising a retrospective of the life work of the late Maui visionary artist, Piero Resta. The exhibition, entitled Piero Resta: Illuminatus, will be open to the public May 21 through July 16, 2017 in the Schaefer International Gallery, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, as well as before select Castle Theater shows. There is no admission charge.

This retrospective exhibition honors Piero Resta (1940 – 2015), an artist whose career spanned more than 50 years of creative exploration, and whose work expresses an exuberance, abundance, and joy with the life force. The selection of drawings, paintings, and sculpture also reveals the axial relationship of his Italian heritage with its ancient artistic traditions and architecture, with the influences of living on Maui.

“Piero’s artistic career was immersed in the alchemy of philosophy, poetry and people. His life was infused with passion, and he invited the creative muses to inspire beauty from within, to share with others,” says Gallery Director Neida Bangerter in her description of the exhibit. “He embraced the world as a master storyteller, navigating between natural and mythological worlds.”

An exhibit of Riero Resta’s work has been in the planning stages for several years, but when he passed away in 2015 the plan was re-organized as a retrospective of his life’s work. A special inclusion for this exhibition is a work that has never been shown: a 20-foot painting, created in Sausalito, California and brought to Maui especially for this exhibit.

Approximately 66 works will be included in the exhibition, set in a space reminiscent of his Kaupō home, “Villa Tamarinda” – an open air Italian-flavored work and living space that has become synonymous with the exuberant and vibrant lifestyle that Piero Resta lived on Maui.


“’To be an artist one must fly with both feet on the ground,’” Mr. Resta once wrote, and then went on later to say: “In this quote, written upon my arrival on the island of Maui in 1978, lays one of several trajectories useful along the pathway toward the forming of a personal visual language, where Sky is closer to Earth, where Spirit coalesces to cosmological awareness. As an artist, my personal search has been to dedicate my essence to the discovery of self, to expand my horizon of perceptions, and to use the tools of the Laboratory to tell the story.”


There will also be public events at Maui Arts & Cultural Center related to the exhibit and its themes. The popular multi-media event known as Art=Mixx will be presented on Friday, June 30, 7 to 11 p.m., with a “Goddess” theme – in recognition of Piero Resta’s famous celebration of the female form in his work; this is a free event. A Piero-inspired ticketed party, “Serata Notte,” will be held on the closing night of the exhibit, July 16; tickets for this event may be purchased through the MACC Box Office at 808-242-SHOW (7469).

Piero Resta Fortuna acrylic on canvas (2011). Courtesy image.

Piero Resta Illuminatus Alto Piano acrylic (2015). Courtesy image.

Piero Resta Invisible Cities Awareness of Multiple Worlds acrylic (2015). Courtesy image.

Piero Resta_Monastique #1 (2015) pigments and gesso. Courtesy image.

Piero Resta Teatro Wide Arms acrylic on paper (1984). Courtesy image.

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