Contact Hawaii Coloring Book for Keiki

For the upcoming family events, Contact Hawaii has had an artist create pages for a coloring book inspired by the artwork in the show. A great way to engage the little ones in a fun way. It turns out that one of the artists I recently met was tagged with the project and we got a sneak peek at the pages:

There are at least 8 different artists’ work represented on this specific page including “Invasives!”

I love that the artist, Stor, chose to draw in the foreign crochet stitches on my Philodendron leaves as a more familiar to him, traditional fishnet style! I have had the thought to translate colored wire into these handmade fishnet designs. Maybe it’s a sign?


Other artists included on the same page are: Paradise Cove, ‘Imaikalani Kanahele, and Cory Taum. As I connect the artist with the work I see, I’ll add them to this list.

Family event for keiki (children): CONTACT Keiki Workshop with Art Explorium
Saturday, April 2 • 10:30-11:30am
Join us for a keiki workshop exploring the themes of the exhibition with artist and illustrator Ricardo Avila, in partnership with Art Explorium.

Michelle and I hope you will bring your family to this event :)




Many Thanks for Supporting “Invasives”

The opening night of Contact Hawaii 2016 was extraordinary! Over 100 works of art from 89 juried participants made for a great pa’ina. Lots of friends, family, and art lovers came out to support the show.


Thank you to Kai for the handmade lei, hand-dyed rosemary green and avocado pit pink.

Received a lei of purple flowers from my collaborator’s family, thank you for your support and patience as we diligently worked.

Also received a lei from the organizers, Pu‘uhonua Society. Thank you for seeing the potential in our textile art installation idea. Same to the curators of the show, thank you for seeing the potential in our work.

Thanks to many from Aloha Knitters who stopped by to see what all those leaves were that I was creating.

And thanks to my collaborator for helping make “Invasives” a success.

Here are a few photos from the Opening Pa’ina:


We have yet to take good photographs of the work due to it’s unique setup in the large split landing staircase and the mixed lighting. When we do get a skilled photographer in the space we will post these photos.

Who me?!

Really there? Yes, I’m really there on the Honolulu Museum of Art’s website for Contact Hawai’i 2016 along with many other wonderful artists living in Hawai’i. The pillar art on the building front is by TUTUVI.

Exhibition Overview

For the third year, Pu‘uhonua Society’s Maoli Arts Alliance presents its juried contemporary art exhibition Contact, featuring new and recent artworks by Hawai‘i artists.

Each year jurors select artworks that explore themes of “contact,” and this year’s show especially looks at cultural exchange and migratory movements, with many of the artists reflecting on personal narratives of heritage and connection.

This year’s show include seven new artworks commissioned for Contact 2016supported by funding from grant sponsors, and will also feature a number of site‐specific works.

Artists in the exhibition include Bernice Akamine, Kaui Chun, Sonny Ganaden, Joshua Lake, Linny Morris, Paradise Cove, Jerry Vasconcellos, Nina Yuen, Tomiko Jones, Mahi La Pierre, Solomon Enos, Kahi Ching, Michelle Schwengel-Regala, Deanna Gabiga, TUTUVI, Jan Becket, Olivier Koning and Diana Lehr.

I’m really excited to be a part of this show as I am learning a lot about what it means to live in Hawai’i. The real Hawai’i, not the Hawai’i that is in the mind of a tourist. This culturally rich exhibition will be really informative for me as I meet more artists living here and learn their stories through their art.

Check out the “pineapple tree” by Jerry Vasconcellos. No, pineapples don’t grow on trees!!

In just two years, Contact has established itself as one of the leading platforms for contemporary island artists to exhibit their work. For this year’s exhibition, curators Herman Piʻikea Clark and Isabella Ellaheh Hughes asked artists to think about the intersection between the foreign and the familiar and the relationship between intimacy and interdependence that has come to define Hawai‘i as a place, a people, and a 21st-century society.

Contact 2016 is made possible by generous funding from the Atherton Family Foundation, Cooke Foundation, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs, as well as through the kind support from its partners: Honolulu Museum of Art School, Nā Mea Hawai‘i, and WCIT Architecture.

The exhibition is organized by Maoli Arts Alliance (MAʻA) an initiative of Pu‘uhonua Society. For more information, please visit

This show runs through April 17 so please stop by the Honolulu Museum of Art School on Victoria Street. There are several events on schedule that can enhance your visit:

Admission is free and open to the public.

Opening Pāʻina
Thursday, March 24 • 5‐8pm
Join the exhibition’s artists and curators for a Hawaiian-style party, complete with great dialogue, pūpū, and music.

Artist Lunch Talks
Wednesdays beginning March 30

Kūkākūkā: Curators’ Dialogue
Tuesday, March 29 • 6‐8pm
Listen in on ruminations, future visions, and observations by jurors and curators Herman Pi’ikea Clark and Isabella Ellaheh Hughes. Clark and Hughes will speak on their individual and collective experiences curating and jurying Foreign and Familiar. Participate in the dialogue as they navigate the curatorial point of contact that this exhibition framework provides.

Navigating the Divides of Contemporary Art in Hawai’i
Thursday, March 31 • 6pm
Listen in and join the dialogue with art critics, curators, and mischief-makers during a moderated discussion about what’s happening in Honolulu’s contemporary art world. Plan on expanding your understanding of art-making in Hawai’i today.

CONTACT Keiki Workshop with Art Explorium
Saturday, April 2 • 10:30-11:30am
Join us for a keiki workshop exploring the themes of the exhibition with artist and illustrator Ricardo Avila, in partnership with Art Explorium.

‘Awa and Storytellers
Saturday, April 2 • 5-8pm
We welcome you for a chance to learn about and participate in drinking ‘awa with us as we gather in a circle of storytelling led by Keala Kahuanui-Paleka. Drinking ‘awa is optional. You’re invited to listen to stories of three special guests from a variety of backgrounds, such as teachers, musicians, artists, and other active roles in the community who will share their unique experience with a special message to take home with you.

Panel led by Isabella Ellaheh Hughes
Tuesday, April 5 • 6‐8pm
Contact 2016 co‐curator Isabella Ellaheh Hughes leads a panel with a select group of artists participating in the exhibition. Artists to be announced.

Kalo Workshop with Bernice Akamine
Saturday, April 9 • 10am‐noon
Artist Bernice Akamine shares deeper insights into her work Kalo and its exploration of the Kūʻe: The Hui Aloha ʻāina Anti-Annexation Petitions 1897‐1898. She will facilitate a community workshop on repurposing and recycling materials for art making. Bernice was a recipient of inaugural Native Hawaiian Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation in 2015.

Visionary Hawai‘i: Thinking About This Place Through Other Means
Thursday, April 14 • 6pm
This panel will bring together a range of individuals who look toward the future of living in Hawai‘i through lenses that invite us to re-think established histories, media, and narratives. From video games to science fiction to radical approaches to the cultural archives at our disposal, these creatives, academics, and technologists seek new ways to think about the complex relationships that Hawai‘i embodies. The participants don’t necessarily see eye to eye—and this is no “celebration of diversity”—but they exist on a gradient that shares a common approach that challenges the backgrounds that they all claim and represent. Join us for a series of brief presentations and what promises to be rich and engaging dialogue.

Installation Day for Contact 2016

Michelle and I have spent the last two days installing our fiber and metal installation piece  called, Invasives, at the Honolulu Museum of Art School.

Between the jurors, Michelle and I, we decided the center stairwell in the historic building would be the best area to showcase our abstract knitted kahuli (Hawaiian tree snails) and wire crocheted Philodendron.

What a great location! Front and center! Opening night is Thursday starting at 5:00, stop by to see our finished installation.

Follow our daily art adventures on Instagram: StudioDeanna and spamKNITsubi

What is Contact 2016: Foreign and Familiar?

Why did Michelle and I choose to participate in this show?

 From the website:

Foreign and Familiar focuses on the experiences of communities that have migrated to and from Hawai‘i, and the subsequent impact that this amalgam of cultures has imparted on our Islands.

We both now call Hawaii home, she has been here for a decade and I am a recent transplant after spending over a decade in Japan. Our mutual interest in the natural environment has led us to explore our new home and we see the effects of the ever growing population.

The theme of Foreign and Familiar spoke to me as I am supposed to be familiar to life here in the US but as I’ve never lived in Hawaii before I feel as if a foreigner. In learning about many of the amazing plants growing here on this tropical island, they are just as foreign as I. Some have learned to share the limited space and work with other plants in the environment, yet others take over those that are already here, they become invasive. It had me wondering how I can grow to fit here in Hawaii.

I’d like the viewer to ask themselves how they fit here on this overcrowded island.

6 days until opening, 3 days until install, I’m giving my burned out crochet hooks a rest and using my sewing machine instead:

 Stop by the Honolulu Museum of Art School starting Thursday, March 24 at 5PM. Our work will be on the 2nd Floor mezzanine. The show will continue through April 17.

We can also be found on Instagram: StudioDeanna and SpamKNITsubi

7 Days Until Contact 2016 Opening…

…but only 4 days until installation begins!

My stitch partner, Michelle, and I had a face to face today and I got to see the thought she put into her fiber choices for the kahuli, Hawaiian Tree Snails. They really do have their own sparkle!

 The combined textile and wire vine design I created met with her approval and we think will address concerns about damage a purely wire crocheted vine may cause. 

Tonight I’m taking inventory of completed leaf sizes and prioritizing the remaining partially completed pieces. This has been an intense project for my favorite Clover double ended crochet hooks and I have been very happy with how well they have held up. But, yes, they now have a groove from the heavy workload.  

 Contact 2016: Foreign & Familiar opens on Thursday, March 24 from 5-8PM at Honolulu Museum of Art School. 

Less than 8 Days!

I’ve been counting down until the opening night of Contact 2016 at the Honolulu Museum of Art School. In reality, our artwork  needs to be completed and installed before then, this Monday or Tuesday. 

Making our countdown at 5 work days! Eek!

Michelle offers us a color tease regarding her next part in our art installation…  

Today’s art adventure took me to the fabric store. First time to this store for me and thankfully found a workable fabric.   

Yes, it’s green. The search was for color, less so for style. A bit of sewing is best to take a break from the daily heavy wire crochet work. 

My first results:  

Stop back to see what we accomplish with only 7 days before the opening, or visit us on Instagram: Studio Deanna and spamKNITsubi