Touring Hawaiian contemporary exhibit opens Tuesday at Schaeffer Gallery
KAHULUI – Maui Arts & Cultural Center will present a touring Hawaiian contemporary art exhibit “O Kalani” at the Schaefer International Gallery Tuesday, April 5.
The exhibit, running through June 18, features two prominent contemporary Kānaka Maoli artists.
The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free.
Sculptor Sean Kekamakupa‘aikapono Ka‘onohiokalani Lee Loy Browne and painter Imaikalani Kalahele have been creating works since the latter part of the 20th century, during a resurgence of Hawaiian culture called the “Hawaiian Renaissance.”
Browne and Kalahele draw inspiration from stories, history, legends, and current events, and using themes from the past to create contemporary art narratives.
The art is at the same time personal, as these artists have charted their own course and helped define contemporary Hawaiian art.
O Kalani, which means “from the heavens” in English, is traveling to Maui through a partnership with the Honolulu Museum of Art with assistance from E. Tory Laitila, curator of textiles, fashion and historic arts of Hawai‘i.
The exhibit features 15 sculptural works by Browne and nine paintings by Kalahele that were newly created for this exhibition.
“These artists have many stories to tell, and a few of the works highlight Maui, the demigod, “ Laitila said.
Browne portrays mythical and historic figures in sculptural forms using cast bronze and carved wood and stone.
Browne was born in Hilo in 1953 and holds an Masters In Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa.
His career has included a stay in Italy studying marble carving with noted sculptor Paoli Silverio, and another stay in Japan as a Fulbright Fellowship recipient, working under the guidance of famed sculptor Isamu Noguchi, one of the 20th century’s most important and critically acclaimed sculptors.
Imaikalani Kalahele’s paintings are vivid compositions, with imagery that connects with history, legends, and mo‘olelo through his personal commentary as an artist and poet.
Kalahele interprets spirituality and nature in a unique visual style. His ancestral knowledge guides him in his activism, addressing injustices and other issues faced by the Hawaiian community. Kalahele was born in 1946 and is from Nu‘uanu on O‘ahu. He is an artist-poet, musician, and respected kupuna.
His writings have been included in various Hawaiian anthologies, and his poems have been collected into a 2002 book, “Kalahele.”
This exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Honolulu Museum of Art, and sponsored in part by County of Maui – Office of Economic Development, and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority through the Community Enrichment Program.
For more information, contact gallery director Neida Bangerter, 808-243-4288, [email protected]
*For a complete list of upcoming events on Maui, happening March 31-April 6, visit our weekly listing: Maui Entertainment, Arts, Community.