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 www.contacthawaii.com.

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
Noon‐1pm

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.

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