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Exhibitions - 2022/2023 Season


The Waimea Education Hui, in partnership with Kahilu Exhibits at Kahilu Theatre, the Royal Order of Kamehameha I Moku o Kohala, Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club, and Nā Kālai Waʻa, welcomes our annual Waimea All Schools Art Exhibition.

This year’s exhibition will feature artwork created by students, their educators, their families, and community members embodying an artistic response to the question, "What is your PANA (or wahi-pana)?" The exhibition will open with a pubic reception on Thursday, April 20 from 5:00pm - 6:30pm and will remain on display through May 28, 2023.



Kahilu Exhibits at Kahilu Theatre is proud to present solo exhibitions by Hawaiʻi Island based artists Patrick O’Kiersey and Rachel Orr. O’Kiersey’s exhibition, A Guest on the ʻĀina, will feature monumentally scaled abstract paintings in Kahilu’s Hāmākua Gallery, while Orr’s mixed-media paintings will be featured in States of Altered Being inside Kahilu’s Simperman Gallery. The exhibits open with a public reception on Wednesday, February 8 from 5:00 – 6:30 PM and will remain on display through April 9, 2023. 


Patrick O’Kiersey has lived in ʻĀhualoa since 2005, and considers himself very fortunate to be a guest residing permanently here on the island of Hawaiʻi. O’Kiersey is an accomplished painter in the tradition of Abstract Expressionism, having completed his Master of Fine Arts degree at Mills College (Oakland, CA) in 1985. Inspired by the textures, colors, and shapes of the natural world, O’Kiersey is interested in using paint and the process of painting to interpret the feelings and ideas envoked by the beauty and intrigue of the world around him.


OʻKiersey explains: “When I begin a painting in the studio, I do not start with an image. Meditations would be closer to the mark. Throughout the painting process I follow intuitions. I watch to see what the painting suggests. I feel that this is the best way to reflect meanings and manifold beauties of the Big Island.”


Rachel Orr is a mostly self-taught artist who has lived in Kalapana since 2018. Over the past couple of years, Orr has been developing techniques that freeze the decomposition of natural materials using latex paint. In the process, she shapes and models tree bark, fallen palm fronds, and plant root systems to build three dimensional surfaces to paint upon. The resulting artwork alters the state of the materials, and forms the basis of her art practice.


Orr elaborates: “In my creative process, I am working in cooperation with my environment by utilizing found material. I honor the natural integrity of the material and intuit the way it guides my composition. Through the repurposing process, my medium maintains its core structure yet becomes changed in its condition of existence.”


Kahilu Exhibits’ Gallery Director, Andy Behrle, sees the combination of the talents of these two artists as a excellent pairing. “Although Patrick and Rachel have very different backgrounds and work in very different ways, their artworks share complexities of texture, process, and content. I am particularly taken by the heightened sensibility each present in their appreciation for the opportunity to live here and translate their experiences of living here into dynamic visual artworks.”



Kahilu Exhibits at Kahilu Theatre is proud to present He waʻa he moku. He moku he waʻa. a group exhibition featuring the artwork of 34 artists with strong ties to Hawaiʻi. This year’s exhibition was juried by Kahilu’s gallery director, Andy Behrle, who invited submissions from artists of all media and experience levels. All of the artwork selected was created since March 2020, and represents the vast spectrum of experiences the artists have faced in these trying times. He waʻa he moku. He moku he waʻa. opens with a public reception on Thursday, November 10 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. There is no admission fee, and all are invited to attend.


“He waʻa he moku. He moku he waʻa” is a traditional ʻōlelo noʻeau (proverb) that translates as, “A canoe is an island. An island is a canoe.” This speaks to the need of a community to get the best from its members, for everyone to do their part for the whole, and to use what is on hand to survive and thrive. Since March 2020, we have been on a collective journey, at times in isolation from one another. He waʻa he moku. He moku he waʻa. brings together seemingly disparate works of art created by artists with varying ties to Hawaiʻi so that we may view the past three years through each other's eyes.


Behrle explains: “It has been a difficult few years, and we have all processed them differently. Our time in isolation forced us to reevaluate everything and altered how we see the world, interact with each other, and create art. The work in this exhibition presents the creativity born from this difficult shared, yet separated, experience.”


While the majority of the selected artworks were created here on Hawaiʻi Island, some was created by artists living and working off-island. Artists on Oʻahu and Maui are represented, as well as artists currently in California, Chicago, New York, and Oregon. 

The exhibiting artists:

Amber Aguirre (Kailua-Kona, HI)

Jill Backus (Kapaau, HI)

Christi Barrow (Keaau, HI)

Richard Bodien (Hawi, HI)

Rosie Connelly (Honolulu, HI)

Debby Dernberger Ryan (South San Francisco, CA)

Bob Danhieux Douglas (Hilo, HI)

Margaret Elliott (Haiku, HI) 

Lynn Martin Graton (Waimea, HI)

Jennifer Haro (Chicago, IL)

Jani Hoberg (Lake Oswego, OR)
Ming Li Jiang (Honolulu, HI)

Kristen Jordan (Kapaau, HI) 

Amy Justen (Lahaina, HI)

Marne Lucas (Portland, OR)

Kainoa Makua (Hilo, HI)

Nelson Makua (Hilo, HI)

Susan Mori (Kamuela, HI)

Patrick OKiersey (Honokaa, HI)

Rachel Orr (Pahoa, HI)

Ernest and Lois Rich (Keaau, HI)

Joseph Ruesing (Hilo, HI)

Georgia Sartoris (Honaunau, HI)

Michelle Schwengel-Regala (Mililani, HI) 

Tom Hooper Seaman (New York, NY)

Vera Sprunt (Sandia Park, NM)

Irene Stawicki (Kealakekua, HI)

Lexi Strickland (Corvallis, OR)

Laurie Tompkins (Laupahoehoe, HI) 
Jan Welda (Kailua, HI)

J. Jay West (Kamuela, HI)

Lawrence Yager (Laupahoehoe, HI) 

Mia Zheng (Honolulu, HI)

The galleries are open and free to the public every Wednesday and Friday from 10am - 2pm, as well as for ticket holders before and after performances in the theatre, or by appointment.


Gwen Arkinʻs exhibition, Intertidal, will feature cyanotype prints of Hawaiian limu (seaweed) and an installation of her large-scale prints on silk panels stretching 10 feet into the air. Originally created for Honolulu Museum of Art’s 2021 exhibition, Artists of Hawaiʻi Now, Arkin’s project references local issues facing native species of seaweed in Hawaiʻi and the global impacts that the demise of limu pose. Using a primitive photographic process, Arkin’s project was inspired by the work of British botanist, Anna Atkins, who published the first book of cyanotype photography in 1843, featuring images of algae. Arkin’s prints display native limu species in exquisite detail, revealing their microscopic cellular make-up. By documenting these organisms, she creates a record of their existence and shines a spotlight on their historical, cultural, and ecological significance. 


Arkin explains, “Once an abundant resource in Hawaii, much of the edible limu has disappeared because of runoff, over-harvesting, and growth of the herbivores that feed on them. Additionally, aggressive alien seaweeds dominate marine resources, diminish diversity and smother native limu and corals. These fascinating and often overlooked organisms play a consequential role in the health of the ocean overall.”

The galleries are open and free to the public every Wednesday and Friday from 10am - 2pm, as well as for ticket holders before and after performances in the theatre.


Bailey Ferguson presents abstract paintings that explore her connection to the ocean in Blue Mind. Inspired by author Wallace J. Nichols’ book of the same title and her passion for surfing, Ferguson is a keen observer of the movement of water and its effect on her mental well-being. Her creative process is informed by the material aspects of paint itself- how it puddles, splashes, smears, drips, and mixes on a surface. The resulting compositions are gestural, and although static, evoke the calming and turbulent movement of water.


Ferguson explains, “My abstract painting language was developed while displaced in 2018 by the Kilāuea volcanic eruption. I used painterly expression to process the grief involving trauma, impermanence, and loss. The ocean was a place of healing – specifically within the physical, mental, and emotional meditations of surfing — offering connection, gratitude, well-being, and a continued source of inspiration.”

Exhibitions - 2021/2022 Season


Kahilu Exhibits, at Kahilu Theatre, is proud to present a solo exhibition by local musician and artist, Boots Lupenui. Lupenui’s exhibition, Passing Notes-The Kohala Ephemera Project, opens on Thursday, July 21, with a public reception on Friday, July 22 from 5:00-6:30pm. This exhibition will feature portraits of Kohala residents who have made significant contributions to this community in the Kahilu Theatre’s Simperman Gallery. Passing Notes-The Kohala Ephemera Project will be on view from July 21–August 28, 2022.


For Passing Notes-The Kohala Ephemera Project, Boots Lupenui has created a series of portraits of community members on paper ephemera — including vintage maps, letters, and other paper items important to the subjects of his artwork. The artist explains: “One example would be putting a portrait of a master navigator of the Hawai‘i Island canoe, Makali‘i, on a vintage map of the island and some of its surrounding waters — a map which this particular navigator studied in his training and which he personally gave to me for this project.” By combining these objects with images of the owners, Lupenui is revealing the deeper stories of the portrait subjects. 


Boots Lupenui is a native Hawaiian artist living on the slopes of Kohala Mountain on the island of Hawaiʻi. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Whittier College in Los Angeles where he subsequently lived and worked as a professional musician for several years.  Lupenui earned a Master’s degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis on painting and drawing from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. His artwork was included in the 2019 Venice Biennale. Lupenui has received numerous awards across many artistic genres. Passing Notes-The Kohala Ephemera Project has been funded in part by a grant from the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.


“Passing Notes-The Kohala Ephemera Project tells stories of a community through illustrated portraits of some of its contributing members on paper ephemera such as vintage maps, charts, old letters — once hidden, now unfolding into a fuller picture to be passed on by the community.” — Boots Lupenui



Kahilu Exhibits, at Kahilu Theatre, is proud to present a solo exhibition of recent works by local multimedia artist and photographer, PATRICIA UEHARA. Uehara’s exhibition, ...perceptions..., opens with a public reception on Thursday, June 23 from 5 – 6:30pm. This exhibition will feature artwork that combines the artist’s training as a painter with her deep connection to sewing in Kahilu Theatre’s Hāmākua Gallery. ...perceptions... will be on view from June 23 – August 16, 2022.


Patricia Uehara has always been entranced with the stories and emotions evoked by the human form. In her exhibition, ...perceptions..., Uehara has embedded photographic images of people into fabric compositions that use found objects like sleeping bags and her grandmother’s kimono. By stitching these images and objects together, Uehara investigates current humanitarian crises like homelessness as well as the history of her family’s migration from Okinawa to Hawaiʻi in the early 1900’s. The artists explains, “Formally trained in drawing and painting, I have reached back into my experiences growing up sewing and creating with fabric and thread.” Through her process, she looks to share her perceptions of the experiences of others, both close to her or observed from a distance.


Patricia Uehara was born and raised in Honolulu, the granddaughter of Okinawan immigrants. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (painting and drawing) from the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa in 1975. Uehara and her husband relocated to Hawaiʻi Island where they raised two daughters and she embarked on a career in elementary education. Now retired from teaching, Uehara has dedicated herself to creating art full time. This is her first solo exhibition. She lives and works in Kealakekua.


“I have always been entranced with the human form and the narrative and emotion involved when viewing a work of art. It comes with a kind of curiosity about the stories, ideas and the process of creativity. So, it is with ideas and my perceptions of these ideas, that I have taken this road.” — Patricia Uehara

The Waimea Education Hui, in partnership with Kahilu Exhibits at Kahilu Theatre, the Royal Order of Kamehameha I Moku o Kohala, Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club, and Nā Kālai Waʻa, 
welcomes the return of our annual WAIMEA ALL SCHOOLS ART EXHIBITION. The exhibit will display May 11 through June 16, 2022.

Unable to be mounted since 2019 because of the pandemic, this exhibition showcases the rich culture and unique talent in our community. Inspired by the strength of individuals, families, schools, and the community; this year’s theme “Kū ikaika Kū a ʻaha lua — Stand Strong, Stand Together” is a tribute to the memory of three individuals who stood strong as pillars of the Waimea community:  Jennifer Bryan, Ski Kwiatkowski, and Scot Plunkett. Together, we honor their memories.


This year’s exhibition will feature artwork created by students, their educators, their families, and community members embodying an artistic response to the question, “What inspires your strength to stand together as individuals, families, schools, and as a community?” The exhibition represents the determination of our community educators, students, and families to overcome the obstacles presented over these past few years.

Brilliance of Now, Juried Exhibition, January 12 - March 4, 2022

As part of our visual arts program, Kahilu Exhibits annually presents a juried exhibition of Hawai’i state artists. We select a juror each year from outside the theatre who has a relevant and significant career in the visual arts. We are proud to announce the juror of this year's exhibition is Mina Elison, Communications Director and Curator at the Donkey Mill Art Center. Application details will be available on CaFÉ(callforentry.org) in August of 2021.

Ming Li Jiang, Exhibition, M
arch 16 - May 12, 2022

Cinnabar by Ming Li Jiang
Ming Li Jiang was born in Shanghai China in 1954, graduated from Fine Arts College of Shanghai University, where he became an instructor upon graduation. Member of the Shanghai Artists’ Association, Shanghai Print-Maker Artists’ Association, Director and Judge of Shanghai Young Artists’ Association & Exhibition. He emigrated to the United States of America in 1989 and has worked as Art Director of painting and design for numerous local companies, including prominent Aloha print & textile companies. Jiang established his own design company Kalama Collection LTD in 2000. He will present a solo exhibition of new gestural carved and painted wooded panels.

Peter Durst, Exhibition, March 16 - May 12, 2022

Peter Durst has been a potter, ceramicist, and sculptor for almost 50 years and has exhibited his work nationally in galleries, art centers, museums, private collections and public spaces. After receiving a BA from Allegheny College and a JD from NYU School of Law, he became interested in pottery and discovered the Anderson Ranch in Snowmass. Colorado. After working there for 2 years, getting a ceramics education and developing his skills, he moved to Denver and opened his first studio. He has maintained Durst Studio, Gallery, and Sculpture Garden since 1990. He has been a long-time visitor to the Big Island of Hawaii and since 2010, a part time resident, where he maintains a studio in Napoopoo and teaches ceramics at Donkey Mill Art Center in Holualoa.


Exhibitions - 2020/2021 Season

As part of our visual arts program, Kahilu Exhibits annually presents a juried exhibition of Hawai’i State artists. We select a juror each year from outside the theatre, someone who has a relevant and significant career in the visual arts. We are proud to announce that the juror of this year's exhibition is Mina Elison, Communications Director and Curator at the Donkey Mill Art Center.

"Brilliance of Now invites visual media artists of Hawai’i to explore life and existence in this moment. Rooted in our DNA and memories of the past, the mind oscillates between what has already occurred and thoughts of the future. With   evolving realities and shifting perceptions, one is always in a state of flux and change. Validating the concept that "now is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" is the understanding that we are not who we once were, and we are not who we will be in the future. As creative beings, how can we honor the space we are in right   now? What has emerged from acknowledgment of places “traveled” through emotions such as disbelief, wonder, joy and grief? What has been broken and where is there growth? What has been learned and what forgotten? In this time, how does one recognize and celebrate the brilliance of now?" — Mina Elison (Juror)

Brilliance of Now — Invited Artists 
(in alphabetical order)

Amber Aguirre
Jill Backus
Kathleen Baumgardner
Andy Behrle
Richard Bodien
Howard Bradley
Luluka Brown-Spielman
^Lynn Capell
Bailey Ferguson 
Lynn Martin Graton
Kendyll Howard

^Roen Hufford
Kristen Jordan
*Valerie Kim
Cris Lindborg
**Kainoa Makua
Nelson Makua
Parker Mason
Beth McCormick
^Elizabeth Miller
^Susan Mori
Patrick Okiersey
Rachel Orr
Patti Pease Johnson
***Margo Ray
Jack Reilly
Diane Alice Repp
Alexis Wilson Russell
^Georgia Sartoris
Barbara Schaefer
Michelle Schwengel-Regala
Roslin Sinclair
Patricia Taylor
^Dominic Tidmarsh
^Eileen Towata
Patricia Uehara
J. Jay West



* First Place
** Second Place
*** Third Place
^ Honorable Mention

Lynn Martin Graton

Thresholds, Journeys with Fibers and Fronds

Virtual Gallery Tour on Kahilu.TV

April 22 - June 21, 2021

Lynn Martin Graton with Coconut Fiber Baskets.                                        

Kahilu Exhibits will presents a solo exhibition, Thresholds, Journeys with Fibers and Fronds by Lynn Martin Graton, from April 22 to June 21, 2021 in the Simperman and Hamakua Galleries of the Kahilu Theatre. A virtual tour of the galleries is available to watch on Kahilu.TV. The exhibit features both woven textiles and coconut fiber basketry. In the Simperman Gallery, Graton is expanding upon traditional loom weaving techniques to create textiles that echo ancient traditions of meditative scrolls and fabrics that define sacred spaces.

Filtered Fronds and Finding Home, Ikat Weavings by Lynn Martin Graton

In the Hamakua Gallery, the exhibition features traditional coconut basketry Lynn learned over four decades ago from master weavers on the remote islands of Micronesia, Fiji, and Tahiti. There is a virtual gallery walk-through with the artist available for free on Kahilu.TV.

“Creating with fiber is about the overlaps. Each one creates a threshold that demands a decision and presents an opportunity. One by one, the decisions combine to form a rhythmic journey, transforming isolated strands and strips into a new and enduring whole. Creating with fiber is also about melding body and mind in search of just the right tension—when to hold tight, when to loosen your grip, when to let go. Isn’t it so with life?”—Lynn Graton Martin.
Lynn’s journey in crafts began in the 1970s when she received a Bachelor of Arts in Ceramics & Sculpture and Arts Education at the University of Guam. During those years, she learned traditional basketry and floral techniques from master weavers from the islands of Micronesia. After receiving a Master’s in Pacific Island studies with a minor in fiber arts from the University of Hawai’i Manoa under scholarship from the East West Center, Lynn spent her career as a folklorist and arts administrator working for state arts agencies in Hawai'i and New Hampshire.

For five years, she worked as a researcher and program manager for a water-powered historic farm in New Hampshire that focused on 19th century occupational and craft traditions. During her career, she maintained her love of fiber arts and experimented with stained glass. Born in Germany, her artwork reflects living, traveling, studying, and working in places as diverse as Japan, Guam, the islands of Micronesia, the Hawaiian Islands, Italy, France, England, Ireland, Iran, Thailand, Nepal, India, Hong Kong and northern New England. She now calls Waimea home.

Heidi Buscher

The Artifacts of Belonging; Myth, Memory and the Human Story

February 25 - April 10, 2021

Kahilu Theatre Galleries are free and open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 1 pm - 5 pm 

Virtual tour and talkstory with the artist on Kahilu.TV

Heidi Buscher, 'Naupaka Kahakai', Acryic on Canvas

Kahilu Exhibits presents a solo exhibition, The Artifacts of Belonging; Myth, Memory and the Human Story by Heidi Buscher, from February 25 to April 10, 2021 in the Simperman and Hamakua Galleries of the Kahilu Theatre.  The exhibit features a series of new, mixed-media paintings on canvas. Please click here to watch a virtual tour and talk story with the artist on Kahilu.TV

The Artifacts of Belonging; Myth, Memory and the Human Story conveys a sense of spirituality, humanity and our connection to the people who came before us and the places we call home. The artist sources early contact imagery and Hawaiian mythology, exploring these themes through a balance of abstract mark-making and portraiture. While Hawai’i mythology anchors the work, Buscher gathers thousands of source materials: patterns, fabrics, archival texts, handwritten letters and early Hawaiiana imagery as visual threads that inspire, layer and fold into her art-making process.
This installation examines the complex questions of belonging, of the connection between mythology, religion and the land, of conflict over sacred ground, and of how we lament, protect and express profound love for these places—whether we are descended from Hawaii’s ancient ancestors, or more recently arrived.
The work does not provide answers to these questions but invites a deep, inner questioning of what it means to belong. The work attempts to convey a sense of reverence and pain for what is lost, yet also celebrates what remains. “Our humanity is inextricably linked to the people and sacred places that came before us,” says Buscher. “How can we humans be here, and love as hard as we love, and then just be gone? What remains? The stories and myths shared across time and civilizations.”
Heidi Buscher is the Fine Arts Department Chair at Parker School where she runs an acclaimed visual arts program. She received an MFA in ceramics from San Francisco University in 2001, and has worked in ceramic sculpture, bronze sculpture, acrylic painting and pottery. Buscher is a fourth generation kama'aina raised in Kamuela where she resides with her husband and children. After a hiatus spent raising young children and teaching full-time, Buscher has returned to a vibrant art practice.

Our Water, Our Canoe, Ka Moana Kākou Student Exhibit
December 8, 2020 - January 28, 2021

Kahilu Theatre requests your student’s participation in the "Our Water, Our Canoe, Ka Moana Kākou Student Exhibit", from December 8, 2020 to January 28, 2021.

"Patchwork wa'a", Lilliray Yoell, age 8

Outrigger canoe paddling, as well as voyaging on sailing canoes is an important part of life and culture in Hawaiʻi. We are asking students to reflect and respond literally to the phrase “Our Water, Our Canoe, Ka Moana Kākou", by creating a 2-D or 3-D representation of a waʻa (canoe) or interpreting and responding to the metaphor.
“We Are All in The Same Canoe” has been used by Pacific Island communities to bring attention to the climate crisis. We are adapting the phrase with the hope that it allows reflection on social and climate injustices, as well as what is taking place during the current pandemic.
There will be a virtual exhibition and live waʻa (canoe) carving event at Kahilu Theatre with Alika Bumatay and Alexis Ching, in honor of Alika’s late father, Kāhuna Kālai Waʻa (master canoe carver), Raymond Bumatay on December 8 & 9 and 15 & 16 from 10am-4pm. This event will demonstrate the completion process of carving a replica inspired by the outrigger canoe Queen Kapiʻolani gave to the Smithsonian in 1888. The process was started by a group of women canoe carvers led by Ray and Alika Bumatay at the 2019 Merrie Monarch festival. The program was sponsored by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Smithsonian American Women History Initiative and will be continued during these sessions at Kahilu Theatre.
Alika Bumatay and Alexis Ching will be carving on site as well as sharing their knowledge of the process. The canoe is carved from the invasive Albizia tree, which is ideal for learning to carve on, as it is abundant on the island, of little commercial value and a soft wood that is easy to carve.
In addition to the carving event and question and answer sessions, there will be a virtual exhibition, "The Eternal Canoe: Honoring the Legacy of Kāhuna Kālai Waʻa Raymond Bumatay", including photography and video from past canoe carving events. The canoe will be on display, along with information about the process, in the Kahilu Galleries alongside the student artwork for the duration of the exhibition. 
The event will be open to the public with social distancing protocols in place, as well as live-streamed and recorded. Tune into Kahilu Theatre’s Facebook, their website, and Kahilu.TV to watch the live-stream video.

1. Students from all schools as well as homeschoolers in grades K-12 from North Hawai'i, including Waimea, North Kohala, Waikoloa and Honoka'a are welcome to enter.

2. Two-dimensional  (drawings, paintings, flat collages, weavings, photographs, etc)
 Three- dimensional (ceramics, sculptures, dioramas etc…), no more than 36”x36”.
 Be sure artworks are sturdy enough to hang or stand without falling apart.  
 Do not enter pieces that break easily, we are not responsible for damaged works.  
3. Mount/mat with white or neutral heavy weight paper or mats.  Do not frame in wood, metal, plastic or glass unless it is a vital part of the display, such as many pieces displayed together.

4. One entry per student. Enter original, not copied, done entirely by student, art works. Groups may enter as one entry but similar works in the group may be eliminated. 

5. Each entry should be labeled with the printable template you can download and print here. Please attach the completed form to the artwork.

EXAMPLE: Name: Malia Kamuela
               Title: Pink Wa’a
               Medium:   Wood, Paint and Rope
               Grade:   Grade 7
               School:   Waimea Middle School

6.  Submit all student artwork wrapped in paper or boxed with completed label (template below)

7.  Inform all entrants that although the greatest possible care will be taken with all entries, Kahilu Theatre does not assume any responsibility for loss, damage or breakage of submitted work. Works will not be for sale.

8. Please note, Kahilu Theatre reserves the right to not show submitted artwork for any reason.
Drop off: Receiving tent at Kahilu Theatre; 67-1186 Lindsey Rd, Kamuela, HI 96743

Due: November 30, 3pm-6pm and December 1, 10am-1pm

* please note; due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, you are required to wear a mask during the drop-off process. Our staff will be wearing masks and PPE. You will be directed to a drive-thru drop-off tent, our staff will approach your vehicle, confirm the label/contact info on the piece, and collect the artwork.
*Do NOT bring entries to receiving sites early; staff at these sites will not be able to take them or store them.  Work submitted late will not be accepted.

Examples of model Wa'a

Popsicle stick wa'a    

  Paper wa'a

Wooden wa'a in progress

The Eternal Canoe:Honoring the Legacy of Kāhuna Kālai Waʻa Raymond Bumatay 

Virtual Exhibtion on Kahilu.TV

Live wa'a carving events December 8, 9, 15, 16, 2021, from 10 am - 4 pm

Kāhuna Kālai Wa’a Raymond Bumatay, Photo Credit: Dino Morrow

Kahilu Exhibits will present a virtual exhibition and live wa’a (canoe) carving event at Kahilu Theatre with Alika Bumatay and Alexis Ching in honor of Alika’s late father, Kāhuna Kālai Wa’a (master canoe carver) Raymond Bumatay, on December 8 & 9 and 15 & 16 from 10am-4pm. This event will be the continuing process of carving a replica inspired by the outrigger canoe Queen Kapiolani gave to the Smithsonian in 1888. The process was started by a group of women canoe carvers led by Ray and Alika Bumatay at the 2019 Merrie Monarch festival. The program was sponsored by the Recovering Voices program of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Smithsonian American Women History Initiative and will be continued during these sessions at Kahilu Theatre. 

Alika Bumatay and Alexis Ching at Wa'a Carving, Photo Credit: Kālewa Correa

Alika Bumatay and Alexis Ching will be carving on site as well as sharing their knowledge of the process. The canoe is carved from the invasive Albizia tree, which is ideal for learning to carve on, as it is abundant on the island, of little commercial value and a soft wood that is easy to carve.

Student participant at Wa'a Carving, Photo Credit: Kālewa Correa

In addition to the carving event and question and answer sessions, there will be a virtual exhibition presented free of charge on Kahilu.TV, "The Eternal Canoe: Honoring the Legacy of Kāhuna Kālai Waʻa Raymond Bumatay’" The virtual exhibition will include photography and video showcasing Uncle Ray's craftsmanship, from his model sailing canoes to traditional Hawaiian outrigger racing canoes carved from a single log. The photographs and video highlight Bumatay's life's work as a teacher perpetuating the art of canoe carving.  He led numerous demonstrations in Hilo and Kalapana as well as annually traveling to Japan to teach and carve canoes with the Japanese Hawaiian Canoe Association, and he represented Hawai’i every year at the International Festival of Canoes held on Maui.

Alika Bumatay and Alexis Ching with waimea students at Wa'a Carving, Photo Credit: Kālewa Correa

The canoe will be on display, along with information about the process, in the Kahilu Galleries alongside the "Our Ocean, Our Canoe, Ka Moana Kākou Student Exhibit" from December 7, 2020 through January 23, 2021. 

Participant at Wa'a Carving, Photo Credit: Kālewa Correa
The event will be open to the public with social distancing protocols in place, as well as live-streamed and recorded. Tune into Kahilu Theatre’s Facebook, their website, and Kahilu.TV to watch the live-stream video.

Kipaipai Fellows 2020

September 25 - November 8, 2020

Kahilu Theatre Galleries are free and open to the public Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 10am – 1pm starting Saturday, September 26,2020. 

Click here to view the Exhibit Preview and Artist Talk 

Photo credit: Anna Pacheco. From left to right, Joy Ray 'Plague Manifesto', Gina Hartig 'EMIT', Cudra Clover 'The Botany of Desire', Judy Endicott 'Boar on Green', Stephanie Sachs 'Mastering the Moment', Scott Yoell 'and our children inherit our dreams', Bailey Ferguson 'Alenuihāhā Channel (Great Billows Smashing)'

From left to right: Michelle Schewngel-Regala 'States of Matter: Ice, Water, Air', Alex Couwenberg 'Skybar', Scott Yoell' and our children inherit out dreams',  Bailey Ferguson '‘Alenuihāhā Channel (Great Billows Smashing)'

Kipaipai Fellows 2020 will be an all-media curated exhibition from September 25 to November 8, 2020 installed in the newly renovated Simperman Gallery and the Hamakua Gallery at the Kahilu Theatre. Museum Manager and Curator at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, Andi Campognone will curate the exhibit. Campognone says, "I have invited all of the Kipaipai Fellows, including faculty, that work or live in Hawai’i to participate in the Kahilu exhibit. I would like to see these artists go big, either in scale of work or in concept, to get the artists to stretch their practice. I want this show to be an additional exercise in the Kipaipai philosophy. I will be doing virtual studio visits with Hawai'i artists leading up to the exhibit."

Cudra Clover, 'The Botany of Desire, hand painted silk

Kipaipai, meaning 'to encourage and inspire', is a professional development program co-founded and led by Andi Campognone. The program focuses on professional practices in areas of gallery representation and museum exhibitions, self-promotion, use of social media in promotion, the importance of relevant critical writing, presentation and identifying and strategizing personal and professional goals.

Photo credit: Anna Pacheco. From left to right: Donna Zarbin-Byrne 'A Bowl of Prayers', Diana Nicollette Jeon ' No Ka Home O Ka Hale Kahiko (Relics of a Vanishing Landscape)', Laurie Sumiye 'Palila #1', Val Kim ,Full Moon', Dina Cline 'Ascension'

Caroline Killhour, 'Maui View'(detail), woodcut on paper

There are 18 artists in the exhibit from Oahu, Maui and Hawai'i Island. Participating artists are: Joy Ray, Cudra Clover, Alex Couwenberg, Michael Shewmaker, Scott Yoell, Margo Ray, Gina Hartig, Dina Cline, Michelle Schwengel-Regala, Laurie Sumiye, Bailey Ferguson, Caroline Killhour, Valerie Kim, Stephanie Sachs, Marcia Pasqua, Donna Zarbin Byrne, Diana Nicholette Jeon, and Jodi Endicott.

Jodi Endicott, 'Boar on Green', mixed media

Andi Campognone has over 25 years of arts experience as a curator, administrator and maker. Campognone is the current Museum Manager/Curator for the Lancaster Museum of Art and History (MOAH) in the City of Lancaster, California. She is the founder of Kipaipai Workshops, an artist professional development workshop held in Holualoa, Hawai’i, Joshua Tree, California and Upstate New York. She volunteers as a regular speaker and mentor to art students at both the undergraduate and graduate level and is on the advisory boards of Start Up Art Fair, Los Angeles Arts Association and is a panelist with the State of Hawaii’s Art in Public Places program. 

Dina Cline, 'Ascension', oil on canvas

Please click here to watch a recording of the live exhibit preview and artist talk moderated by Andi Campognone.

Call + Response

Juror: Healoha Johnston

March 13 - April 19, 2020

The reception was cancelled and the galleries were closed just after opening due to the Covid-19 pandemic, please view below images of  selected work as well as some of the artists working in their studios.

Simperman Gallery, Call + Response, (left to right) Roen Hufford, Melissa Chimera, Patricia Uehara, Susan Mori

Hamakua Gallery, Call + Response, (left to right) Bailey Fergeson, Roen Hufford, Scott Yoell, Chelsea Tarnas

As part of our visual arts program, Kahilu Exhibits annually presents a juried exhibition of Hawai’i state artists.  We select a different theme each year as well as a juror from outside the theatre who has a relevant and significant career in the visual arts.

citiscape, Roen Hufford, Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts Purchase Award

Roen Hufford in her studio

Healoha Johnston, this year’s juror, has selected the theme, Call + Response. Johnston chose work from online entries through Cafè (callforentry.org). 

Melissa Chimera, Noho (stay i'iwi) & Noho(stay palila), photo credit: Marie Hobro. Hawai'i State Foundation on
Culture and the Arts Purchase Award

Melissa Chimera in her studio, photo credit: Marie Hobro

The first, second and third place winners are, Scott Yoell, Roen Hufford and Melissa Chimera

Scott Yoell, Partasonship(left) , First Place Award Winner and Michael Marshall, Tumultuous Waters(right)

The Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts Awards Acquisition Selection Committee selected works by Roen Hufford and Melissa Chimera for their permanent collection.

Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka'Aina I Ka Pono, Patricia Uehara

Patricia Uehara in her studio
Participating artists are: Melissa Chimera, Yvonne Yarber Carter, Heide Cumes, Bailey Ferguson, Stephen Haynes, Gary Hoff, Roen Hufford, Valerie Y.O. Kim, Michael Marshall, Susan Mori, Joy Ray, Chelsea Tarnas, Patricia Uehara, Jay West and Scott Yoell. 

Grampa's Church, Valerie Y.O. Kim

Valerie Y.O. Kim in her studio

Juror Healoha Johnston hails from Kuli‘ou‘ou, Hawai‘i and is a Curator at the Smithsonian Institution Asian Pacific American Center. Her research interests include exploring transdisciplinary approaches to contemporary art and locating connections between historic visual culture and contemporary art with a particular focus on the socio-political underpinnings that inform those relationships. As an art historian, Johnston has curatorial experience working in contemporary art galleries, arts and culture non-profit organizations, NOAA’s Pacific National Monument program, and the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Reaching Into the Darkness, Joy Ray

Joy Ray with curator Andi Campognone in her studio

From the juror: “At a time when connections between people and the elements are being rekindled on a measurable scale—think Maunakea and Hōkūleʻa and the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage—this exhibition encourages artists to call attention to urgent issues or to respond to the most pressing concerns of our time and place. Artists are asked to submit work that challenges established paradigms, asserts bold perspectives on current events, or seeks to make visible latent yet vital networks. Much like a call to action, this exhibition appreciates the critical role​artists play in shaping popular understanding of the world around us and invites artists to comment on the present moment through their work.”

Susan Mori, Sand, Sea, Sun, Mountain

Susan Mori in her studio

Bailey Ferguson in her studio

Jay West with her tryptich, Standing Still

Craig Schwanfelder, Half Court - Full Court

Michelle Schwengel-Regala, Ka Lae and Beyond

January 30 - March 6 , 2020

Half Court - Full Court, Ainaola Park, Hilo , Craig Schwanfelder

Craig Schwanfelder will be exhibiting photographs of basketball courts from his ongoing series Half Court – Full Court in the Simperman Gallery of the Kahilu Theatre.  Using in-camera multiple exposure, this series presents the viewer with the experience of standing at center court and looking at both basketball hoops simultaneously. “Basketball hoops can be found everywhere and are accessible to people from all walks of life”, says Schwanfelder. Over the past five years he has photographed all types of courts, including ones at neighborhood parks, community recreation centers, grass courts, and at schools. This ongoing project has resulted in a portfolio of images that highlight the remarkable diversity of settings for a game that unifies people worldwide.

Half Court - Full Court ,Kealakehe Intermediate, Craig Schwanfelder

Craig Schwanfelder is a Bay Area photographer. He studied commercial and the technical aspects of photography at the International College of Professional Photography in Melbourne, Australia and finished his BFA in photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. Schwanfelder has family on Hawai’i Island and has travelled here regularly over the last decade. While in Hawai’i, he has photographed basketball courts throughout the State, many of which will be exhibited in his solo exhibition at Kahilu Theatre.

Half Court - Full Court, Truckee River, CA, Craig Schwanfelder

Ka Lae and Beyond, a solo exhibition of mixed media work by Honolulu artist Michelle Schwengel-Regala, is inspired by her first visit to Ka Lae (South Point, Hawai‘i island) in 2004 where she learned that if you were to go due south from there, you would not encounter any land masses until reaching Antarctica.  This instantly bridged a gap for her, reframing the idea of the ocean from being a barrier, to being a link between Hawai’i and Antarctica. In 2017 she left O‘ahu with the National Science Foundation to live at McMurdo Station, Antarctica for seven weeks.  During that time she encountered more connections between these seemingly disparate regions and participated in 33 scuba dives as part of her mission to translate the scientific work of the station via her art.

Ice Core, Michelle Schwengel-Regalga

With her background in science, science illustration, and fine art, Michelle creates art that looks at the world’s natural history, interprets it through art, and shares it to encourage curiosity. Ka Lae and Beyond is a mixed-media expedition to tropical and polar regions, exploring the phenomena which shape these locations and their life forms.

Lava Bombs, Michelle Schwengel-Regala

Michelle Schwengel-Regala is a fiber artist and scientific illustrator who has worked with natural history museums in the US and Sweden and is currently a research resident at the Bishop Museum. She studied Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a graduate certificate in Science Illustration from the University of California Santa Cruz.

Scuba Diving in Antarctica with Croceted QR Code, Michelle Schwengel-Regala

Half Court – Full Court and Ka Lae and Beyond will run from January 30 to March 8, 2020 at the Kahilu Theatre.

2020 Voyager Exhibit - Makali'i to Mokumanamana

December 12, 2019 - January 26, 2020

Makaliʻi Voyage to Mokumanamana June, 2019                                                   Photo Credit: Jamie Makasobe
Kau ka peʻa, holo ka waʻa. Full sails flying and boosting Makaliʻi along.

Presented by Waimea Ocean Film Festival, Nā Kālai Waʻa, and Kahilu Theatre the 2020 Voyager Exhibit will focus on the recent voyage of Makaliʻi, the voyaging canoe run by the organization Nā Kālai Waʻa, as the culmination of its current voyaging project, Honauna Ola. In this voyage, in the summer of 2019, they sailed from Hawai’i Island to and through the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, that lie within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, including Mokumanamana, an important cultural and navigational site. 

Red footed boobies (manuʻā) gather around the pahumanamana on Haʻena Moe.      Photo Credit: Kalā Mossman

Mokumanamana has been the focus of research conducted by the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation into the manamana, or standing stones, found on the island for the past 14 years. Part of the findings from the research show that the manamana are aligned with planets and stars at different times of the year, making the island itself a living star compass. The voyage was planned to coincide with the summer solstice, to make observations at sunrise and sunset on that date.

Makaliʻi crew and their families prepare for departure from the Marine Education            Photo Credit: 'Āina Paikai
Training Center at Sand Island, Oʻahu to Mokumanamana

During the Waimea Ocean Film Fesitval, the Voyager Exhibit complements the Festival to form the basis for talks and discussions around voyaging and that provide interactive tools and the basis for educational programs taking place during the festival as well as in subsequent school visits.

In 2020 the exhibit and talks focus on three aspects of the recent Makaliʻi voyage:
  • Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and the voyage to the Northwestern Hawaiian Island.
  • The Nā Kālai Waʻa Hoea Moku Canoe Garden Project that supplied and provisioned the waʻa (canoe) sustainably from plants and material grown and harvested on the island, and
  • crew training, which included developing an understanding of non-instrument weather forecasting and navigation.

The northern cliffs of Molokaʻi are the highest sea cliffs in the world.                         Photo Credit: Atsushi Sawada
Makaliʻi sails past them from Hana, Maui to Honolulu, Oahu

A Star Compass will be on display, and during scheduled morning talks attendees will have the opportunity to learn about its use as a tool for navigators. For details, see the Waimea Ocean Film Festival Program.

Volunteers and crew work to re-lash Makaliʻi during her                                        Photo Credit: Jamie Makasobe
drydock at the warehouse in Mahukona.

2020 Voyager Exhibit will run December 12, 2019 to January 26, 2020 at the Kahilu Theatre.

Solo Exhibitions

Mariah Reading, In The Wake of Our Wast

Leah Schretenthaler, The Invasive Species of the Built Environment

October 17 - December 7, 2019

Potato Fin, Mariah Reading

In The Wake of our Waste, Mariah Reading will exhibit a combination of photography and painted found objects in the Simperman Gallery of the Kahilu Theatre. Reading’s art reflects her relationship with the landscapes that surround her. Her canvases come in unique forms, from old hiking boots and hubcaps, to found diving fins and wasted water bottles. They call attention to discarded objects and how that object fits, or does not, within its environment. This series looks at how a human footprint on land is directly related to the sea. Reading’s work depicts environmental changes humans have caused and a call to action to preserve this one Earth. Her intention is to leave all bodies of water better than how she found them.

You Knock My Crocs Off, Mariah Reading

Reading grew up in Maine and currently lives and works in Southern California. Over the last three years she has been an artist-in-residence in Denali National Park twice, Zion National Park, and Acadia National Park. In addition to her exhibit at Kahilu Theatre, Reading has planned a beach clean-up at Kamilo Point on Saturday, October 19 in partnership with Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and sponsored by Osprey Packs. The clean-up will include a workshop led by Reading for the volunteers on how to create recycled art.

No Longer Waikiki, Leah Schretenthaler

The land of Hawai’i is vast, luxurious and idyllic, and past the wanderlust images there is controversy. Leah Schretenthaler addresses this controversy in her series of laser-etched photographs, The Invasive Species of the Built Environment. Growing population and tourism suggest threats to our island environment. Schretenthaler’s photographs focus on the spaces where building structures meet the natural environment. Using silver gelatin prints of selected man-made structures in the landscape, she uses a laser cutter to cut these structures from the environment. The removed spaces aid in seeing what Hawai’i would be like without them. Schretenthaler’s process suggests that, although removed, there is a scar that can never be completely erased. These images discuss visually the reality of social and political concerns related to the natural world and in its preservation.

Schretenthaler’s art practice blends traditional techniques with modern technology. Her photography practice uses film and darkroom developing and printing and then applies a “cutting-edge” laser etcher to create the final images.

The Real Hike to Akaka Falls, Leah Schretenthaler

Leah Schretenthaler was born and raised in Hawai’i. She completed her BFA degree from the University of South Dakota and holds a master’s degree in art education from Boston University. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She was recently named one of Lens Culture’s Emerging Talents of 2018 and was awarded 2nd place in the Sony World Photography Awards. Most recently, she was selected for the highly competative FRESH 2019 at the Klompching Gallery in New York City. Her work has been displayed nationally and internationally including Hawai’i, Colorado, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, California, Texas, New York, Wisconsin, Rome, and Spain.

I Want to See the Land How it Once Was, Leah Schretenthaler


Solo Exhibition

Mayumi Oda - Expression of the Female Deity

August 29 - October 13, 2019

Poliahu, Mayumi Oda

Expression of the Female Deity is a retrospective exhibit that spans 40 years of work by the Hawai’i-based artist known as the Matisse of Japan. Oda says, "Through my creative process, I have been creating myself. Goddesses are a projection of myself and who I want to be. Each picture represents a stage of my development, the influences I was feeling, and events that were going on around me."

Bliss of the Sea, Mayumi Oda

Mayumi’s vision, feminism, and commitment to Zen practice are apparent in her artwork. This exhibition will include many of her hand-pulled silkscreen prints on paper, as well as a series of large-scale Thangka paintings, each of which depict a female deity that draw references from native Hawaiian mythology, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. The paintings will be featured in Oda’s upcoming publication ‘Sarasvati’s Gift’, “…a memoir, wildly colorful artist’s retrospective, dharma teaching, ode to the divine feminine, and manifesto to a peaceful future composed by impassioned global activist and artist, Mayumi Oda."

Spring White Tara, Mayumi Oda

From 1969 to the present, Mayumi has presented more than 50 solo shows internationally and her work is part of numerous private and permanent collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the U.S. Library of Congress.

Special thanks to the East Hawai'i Cultural Center for providing the biographical video in the gallery exhibition and framing for many of the prints in the exhibit. 

I Ka Leo O Ke Kai (Akau), Mayumi Oda

Expression of the Female Deity will run from August 29 to October 13, 2019 at the Kahilu Theatre.

Solo Exhibitions

Kamran Samimi - UNEARTHED

Duncan Dempster - smallclusters

June 13 - August 18, 2019

Kamran Samimi, Ball of Earth

Kahilu Exhibits presents two solo exhibitions, UNEARTHED by Kamran Samimi and smallclusters by Duncan Dempster, from June 13–August 18, 2019.  

In UNEARTHED, Samimi will be exhibiting a combination of sculpture, photography and printmaking in the Simperman Gallery of the Kahilu Theatre. While his materials and techniques vary, Kamran creates works of art that are both a tribute and a response to the rich landscapes found throughout Hawai’i while presenting different ways to observe the world around us. Kamran Samimi, Laupāhoehoe

Growing up in rural Laupāhoehoe has given Kamran great respect for the natural world.  Through the use of dissection, repetition, and abstraction, he seeks to uncover the essence within all things, ultimately encouraging mindful contemplation. He currently lives and works in Honolulu, where he has actively been exhibiting his artwork.  

For smallclusters, Dempster says, “The current concern of my work is the depiction of personally resonant geographic space and place through non-linear modes of representation, and an attempt to balance literal perception with psychological responses to the landscape. For this body of work, I’m focusing on the experience of places in and around the Hamakua and Kohala districts on the Big Island.”

Duncan Dempster, largercluster
Duncan is a Honolulu-based artist and teacher working primarily in print media. He is currently an instructor in printmaking at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and is the executive director of Honolulu Printmakers, a 91-year old nonprofit arts organization dedicated to promoting print culture in the state of Hawaii. He currently has an exhibit of his geometric print constructions at the Honolulu Museum of Art First Hawaiian Center.

Duncan Dempster, littoral

Waimea All Schools Exhibit 2019

He Wai E Ola, E Ola Nō A - Water is Sacred, Water is our Responsibility, Water is Life

May 2 - June 8, 2019

Wai Owa' Owaka

As part of our visual arts program, Kahilu Exhibits annually presents the Waimea All Schools Exhibit in partnership with the Waimea Education Hui. This year’s theme, which students were asked to respond to, is: He Wai E Ola, E Ola Nō A—Water is Sacred, Water is Our Responsibility, Water is Life. Students from grades pre-K to 12 were invited to participate, as well as faculty and parents. The criteria for participating artists are that they attend a school in Waimea, including being homeschooled here, and work can be in any media. Waimea All Schools Exhibit is the vision of Waimea Education Hui; their intention is to bring members of all schools in Waimea together through this event.

As part of this year's exhibit we will be honoring and including artwork and information about the Hawai'i Island built sailing canoe, Makali'i's current project, Hanauna Ola - Sustaining the Generations through Voyaging. The project's goal is to restore and perpetuate Hawaiian cultural knowledge and practices that support physical, spiritual, psychological health and well being. As a culmination of this project, Makali'i will embark on a 1,300 nautical mile voyage to the islands of Nihoa and Makumamamama, conduct reconnection ceremonies, and sail home safely. 

Another special addition to the exhibit this year, is the art work from He Wai e Ola, a 12 week community art course taught by Scott Plunkett and sponsored by KALO and Mauna Kea Education and Awareness.

Participating schools are:  Waimea Middle School, Hawai’i Preparatory Academy, Parker School, Kanu O’Ka Aina New Century Charter School, Pūnana Leo O Waimea, Kamehameha Preschool, and Homeschoolers.

Transformative Forces: Creation through Destruction

Juror: Carl F.K. Pao

March 14 - April 27, 2019


As part of our visual arts program, Kahilu Exhibits annually presents a juried exhibition of Hawai’i state artists.  We select a different theme each year as well as a juror from outside the theatre who has a relevant and significant career in the visual arts.  Transformative Forces—Creation through Destruction was the theme artists were asked to respond to this year, and the juror, Carl F.K. Pao, selected artworks in a wide variety of media and content. The first, second and third place winners are, Bailey Ferguson, Dominic Tidmarsh and Gary Hoff. The Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts Awards Acquisition Selection Committee selected works by Carl F.K. Pao, Margo Ray and Dominic Tidmarsh for their permanent collection.

Gary Hoff, A Monument to the Maimed

Participating artists are:  Patricia Brock, Lynn Capell, Pat Dinsman, John Ferdico, Bailey Ferguson, Gary Hoff, Amy Justen, Barbara Kurgan, Susan Mori, John Mydock, Janice Gail, Ana O’Connor, Carl F.K. Pao, Abbie Rabinowitz, Joy Ray, Margo Ray, Joseph Ruesing, Melissa Schelling, Michelle Schwengel-Regala, Sophia Siddiqui, Dominic Tidmarsh, Patricia Uehara, Kuniko Watanabe, Jay West, and Paul F. Yount.

Lynn Capell, CUT

The juror, Carl F.K. Pao, was born and raised on the island of O`ahu, where he graduated from Kamehameha Schools in 1989. He earned a BFA at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa and received his MFA with first-class honors in 1999 from Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland, Aotearoa. He returned to Hawai’i in 2000 to take a full-time teaching position at the Kamehameha Schools High School Kapalama Visual Arts Department. He recently transferred to the Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i campus in Kea’au.  Among many other achievements, Carl was the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Australian National University (ANU) College of Asia and the Pacific in July 2012; concluded a successful group exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in July 2011; was co-owner/operator of the Lodestar Collective Gallery in Kailua; the volunteer arts editor for The Contemporary Pacific journal (TCP) from 2008-2011; host and co-producer of the educational art series Art Hunter; and is currently exhibiting both locally and abroad. He lives with his wife and daughter in Kurtistown on the island of Hawai’i.

Amy Justen, Reincarnation 

Hānauna Kapa-Roen Hufford and Students

January 31–March 10, 2019

kapa making tools by Frank McClure

Kahilu Exhibits will present Hānauna Kapa from January 31 to March 10, 2019 in the galleries of the Kahilu Theatre. The exhibit will feature the artwork of Roen Hufford as well kapa artists curated by Hufford- Bernice Akamine, Geno Bergmann, Pomai Bertelmann, Lanakila Mangauil, Yvonne Yarber-Carter, Keoki Apokolani Carter, Pualani Lincoln-Maielua and Keali’i Bertelmann. Also on exhibit will be small works by students of Roen Hufford, kapa making tools by Frank McClure and photographs by Tami Kauakea Winston.
Hānauna Kapa presents the regrowth and process of kapa-making, from its traditional roots to the contemporary artists on Hawai’i island who create kapa today. The discoveries, experiences and creative growth of the community of contemporary kapa makers demonstrate that the creative spirit of the past is still very much a part of the fabric of Hawaiian life today. “We at Kaihlu Theatre are proud to be exhibiting the important work these kapa artists and cultural practitioners working in Hawai’i today,” says Margo Ray, Kahilu Exhibits Coordinator.

 detail kapa haumana art work

Roen Hufford is an accomplished kapa and lei maker as well as a farmer. She grows the majority of the wauke as well as the plants needed for pigment dyes on her farm, Honopua, in Waimea, Hawai’i with her husband Ken and mother Marie McDonald. For the last two years Roen has lead a group of kapa haumana on her farm, the work of these students will be represented in this exhibition.

 detail kapa haumana art work

Solo Exhibition - Amanda Lee

and the remaining ashes are facts

October 26 – December 21, 2018

North Carolina I, Speak of the Object Series

and the remaining ashes are facts is a series of silkscreen prints on paper, including two large-scale  print installtions. The show consists of two bodies of work, Speak of the Object and Accretion of Knowledge.

Speak of the Object, is inspired from her time working in and documenting domestic violence shelters in the United States and Italy. With these images, Lee amplifies the importance of the vital but nearly invisible network of places that nurture and support survivors of inter-personal violence.  Her minimal images remind viewers that inter-personal violence is divorced from theology, nationality, or class.

Iowa II, Speak of the Object Series

A new series including pieces created to debut at Kahilu Theatre, Accretion of Knowledge attempts to capture the vastness of knowledge offered by natural spaces-in this case a beach on the Salish Sea in Washington State. This series of screen prints are inspired by the form of sacred texts, and the documentation of ideas through books and manuscripts but the knowledge described within the pieces is more intuitive than rational. Repetitive photographic images of Rosario Beach are presented in fields with hand drawn meditative marks that make an ephemeral moment durable. 

Return Feels Like a Sacrament, Signs I

Amanda Lee is a multi-media artist, a poetic printmaking activist, who is fascinated with the possibilities that exist in the space that fills a pause, the thing in between, be it emotional or physical, the space that many of us overlook on our way there from here.

Solo Exhibition- Matt Shallenberger

The Leaping Place

August 31 – October 21, 2018

Loihi 14

The Leaping Place is a series of large-format landscape photographs meant to illustrate two stories: first, of the artist's family, who immigrated to Hawai'i from the Portuguese Azores in the 1880s, and second, of the Kumulipo, the ancient Hawaiian creation chant.  Named after the places from which departed souls begin their journeys to the underworld, the project aims to discover connections between different Hawai'i communities, exploring the landscapes of their diverse pasts and shared present.  

Loihi 1

Matt Shallenberger (b. Kailua, 1978) is self-taught as a large format landscape photographer, having studied classical literature and history.  Each of his projects begins as an attempt to reinterpret, through photography, an existing piece of poetry or mythology - most recently, the Hawaiian 'song of creation', the Kumulipo. His work has appeared in numerous publications, and an exhibition of his Hawai'i landscapes took place this spring at the Honolulu Museum of Art.  Information on awards and publications can be found on his website, alongside all portfolios, and details about a book of his Hawai'i photographs to be published in September 2018.

Prologue To The Night World

The Essence of Hawai'i

July 5 - August 12, 2018

Isaiah Stillman- Best Arial

Kahilu Exhibits will present The Essence of Hawai’i Statewide Photo Contest exhibition from PhotoCON Hawai’i’s 2017 expo. There will be an opening reception and walkthrough with PhotoCon Founder and renowned Hawai’i commercial photographer Ric Noyle on Thursday, July 5, from 5-7pm. A no-host bar and light pupu will be on offer. This Kahilu Theatre exhibit is sponsored by Pictures Plus.
The Essence of Hawai’i exhibit features 35 photographs selected from 640 entries. The contest was open to professional photographers, amateur photographers, students, visitors and all residents who defined themselves as “like-minded image creators” of Hawai’i. Only images that were created in Hawai‘i in 2016 – 2017 were eligible for entry. Winners were selected by a group of industry experts. Judges determined winners by applying the predetermined criteria. The judges were Jason Cutinella, CEO, Nella Media Group; Jeffrey K. Fukui, Canon U.S.A., Inc. Hawaii; Lora Gallagher, Regional Director of Marketing, Hilton Hawaii; Noelani Schilling-Wheeler, Executive Director, O‘ahu Visitors Bureau; Noah Tom, Anthology, Senior Art Director; and Zak Noyle, Photographer.

The photographers are Raiatea Arcuri, Thomason Takata, Andy Stenz, Shane Myers, Logan Mock, Jill  LeGrow, Danny Sepkowski, Roxy Ragsdale, Shane Myers, CJ Smith, Peter Tang, Jennifer G. Chung, Daniel Finchum, Logan Mock, Lance Agena, Peter Tang, Staci Overton-Tune, Kimberly Jeffries, Roxy  Ragsdale, Josh Ross, Ryan Sakamoto, Jordan Garcia, Danny Sepkowski, Joshua Esteban, Jason  O’Rourke, Dominique Kahale-Webster, Christopher Lum, Davin Phelps, Lyle Roe, Isaiah Stillman, Nolan Omura, Sky Bruno, and Douglas Peebles.

Paolo Honales- Second Place Winner

PhotoCon Hawai’i is an educational and informational trade event. The second PhotoCon Hawai’i will take place September 7-9, 2018 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

Lance Agena-First Place Winner

Intersections: Considering Imbalance

Juror: Andi Campognone

May 10 - June 30, 2018

Kahilu Exhibits presents Intersections: Considering Imbalance from May 10 - June 30, 2018.  The annual juried exhibition features twenty-one accomplished visual artists working with a multitude of media. 
From the exhibit's call for entries: "In a world that seems increasingly polarized, we often find ourselves at metaphorical intersections where a range of forces- cultural, political, economic, emotional- converge achieving individual or collective balance when these forces meet and mix may first require disturbances or expressions of resistance. Artists often take a significant role in public discourse when their work is driven by these intersections. In this exhibition, we invite artists to examine the idea of an intersection as not simply where two or more lines meet- a site that you approach, choose a direction, and then continue on- but as a starting place to consider the imbalance of the status quo." 
Participating artists are: Amber Aguirre, Patricia Brock, Lauren Hana Chai, Ellen Crocker, Tara Cronin, Heide Cumes, Gina Hartig Williams, Thomas Huffman, Amy Justen, Valerie Y.O.Kim, Michael Marshall, Pablo McLoud, Jackie Mild Lau, Susan Mori, Gwendolyn O'Connor, Joseph Okonek, Joy Ray, Joseph Ruesing, Michelle Schwengel-Regala, Helen White, and Scott Yoell.

The award winners are:
1st Place- Lauren Hana Chai, 'Idolization'.
2nd Place- Valerie Y.O. Kim, 'Conversations 6'.
3rd Place- Gina Hartig Williams, 'Run Off'.
Juror Andi Campognone has over 25 years of arts experience as a curator, administrator, and maker. She is the Owner/Director of AC Projects, a private consulting organization focused on promoting arts and culture. Projects include developing museum exhibitions, public engagement, mentoring programs and book and film publications of historically relevant southern California artists. Campognone is also the Museum Manager/Curator for the City of Lancaster. She is responsible for the development and maintenance of partnerships and community engagement initiatives with artists, businesses, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles County Supervisors office, and higher level institutions. She develops the curatorial direction for exhibition programming and educational programming and additionally, she is directing the Museum accreditation process for MOAH. She has previously served the City of Pomona as Cultural Arts Commissioner where she co-wrote and implemented the City’s Master Cultural Arts Plan and the adopted Arts in Public Places Policy. Ms. Campognone is on the Board of the Lancaster Museum and Public Art Foundation and an active member of the Holualoa Foundation for Arts and Culture where she leads an annual artist professional development workshop, Kipaipai at Donkey Mill Art Center. She volunteers as a regular speaker and mentors to art students at both the undergraduate and graduate level and is on the advisory boards of Start-Up Art Fair, Los Angeles Arts Association and the State of Hawaii’s Public Art Program Panel. She is a current member of ArTTable.
At the closing reception on June 28, Andi will present a slideshow of images from contemporary artists that effectively tell the story of early 21st Century America at the closing reception on June 28, 5-7 pm. She askes "Does your art tell your story?" and says that "[She] would like to speak about art as anthropology. From ancient cave paintings to Rodin Crater, how art reflects the physical and cultural development, biological characteristics and social customs and beliefs of humankind."

Waimea All Schools Exhibit

April 5 – May 6, 2018

Kahilu Exhibits  presents a group exhibition, Waimea All Schools Art Exhibit: Waimea Education Hui, from April 5-May 6, 2018. This free exhibition will include works from all Waimea schools grades K-12, and is sponsored through the Waimea Education Hui, a voluntary group formed in 2007 comprised of area educators, representatives from all Waimea schools and cultural practitioners.

Waʻa name, "Ola - LIfe" by Dylan Takaki, Leola Kuewa, Kela Hoʻopai-Nobriga, Arianna Cifuentes-Schutte (Kanu o ka ʻAina, Grade 5)

The theme of the All Schools Exhibit this year is “E ‘onipa’a i ka ‘imi na’auao – Be steadfast in the seeking of knowledge”, which was the motto of Queen Lili’uokalani. Waimea students, their family members, and teachers were invited to interpret the Queenʻs motto in a variety of ways. “The Waimea Education Hui  holds our community so dear and the cultural heritage that has been left for us to perpetuate and practice,” said Pua Case, a hui member and the art exhibit’s coordinator. “One purpose of the exhibit is to truly spread the message to the students and the community that we are all one school, and to provide cultural learning opportunities to keep the legacy of Waimea alive,” she said.

“Kahilu Theatre is pleased to present this exhibition in partnership with the Waimea Education Hui.” says Deb Goodwin, Executive Director of Kahilu Theatre. “The program is aligned with our practice to deliver visual arts experiences that honor our roots and reflect the diversity of our community.” 

Ke Kapa Aloha, by Papa Hapuʻu - 4th Grade (Kanu o ka ʻAina)

Participating schools include faculty, family members and students from Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School, Kanu o ka ‘Aina, Alo Kehau o ka ‘Aina Mauna, Na Kula Kamali’i o Kamehameha, Waimea Elementary After School Art Program, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Waimea Country School and Parker School. Funding for the exhibition has been provided by Parker School, Honoka’a Complex 21st Century Community Learning Center Enrichment Program, and grants from Mauna Kea Education and Awareness and Native Voices Rising.

Duo Exhibition: Ellen Crocker & Cal Hashimoto


Feb. 15 – March 29, 2018

Kahilu Exhibits presents a duo exhibition by artists, Ellen Crocker and the late Cal Hashimoto, both of Hawaiʻi Island. Work on display will include sculpture, paintings and mixed media works that reflect the artistsʻ shared interest in the art disciplines of Japan.

The title of the exhibition, “Confluence East” is defined as the place where two rivers meet. When Hashimoto and Crocker first began discussing a joint proposal to Kahilu Exhibits in the fall of 2016, it was because they recognized that while their work was very different in form, they shared a passion for art disciplines of Japan. Throughout his career, Hashimoto was widely recognized for his intricate explorations in bamboo sculpture. Crockerʻs work utilizes Sumi-e, (Japanese ink brush), watercolor, carving and Roketsu-zome (Japanese batik) to create mixed media paintings, art quilts and works on wood.

Hashimoto ( 1945 - 2017) was a mixed media artist whose interest in sculpture began at a young age in California, when he first began carving figures out of eucalyptus and almond logs with a chainsaw. His sculptural interest was refined during study at the University of California at Berkeley under the influence of artists Peter Voulkos and John Battenburg, as well as during extended travels in West and East Africa, Southeast Asia, China, Indonesia, Europe, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Hashimoto moved to Big Island of Hawai’i in 1982 where he found drama and beauty in the island's culture and natural materials, and incorporated them into his work. In a personal art statement he said, “My explorations led to the discovery of the various bamboo groves that are found throughout the islands. There was always a serenity and beauty to these environments that transported me into a spiritual place of my own being. My primary sculptural medium had been metals, wood and natural fibers, however, since 1990, I have been exploring my creative expression through the use of bamboo. The difficult task that I endeavor to accomplish is to incorporate some of the aspects of serenity, beauty, and spirituality of a bamboo forest into my art work. This coupled with the influences of ten years of travel and exposure to the arts of different cultures has formed the basis of what is now embodied in my bamboo sculpture.”

Hashimoto held a Bachelor of Architecture Degree University of California, Berkeley and he was a Registered Architect at ARIBA (Africa Royal Institute of British Architects) in Kenya, East Africa. Because he had background and training in architecture, Hashimoto was able to develop new joining methods which responded to the difficult requirements of enduring sculpture. He was credited with inventing new ways to work with bamboo that had not been used before and his mastery and joining techniques were widely recognized. Hashimoto was included in such publications as The Craft & Art of Bamboo (Larks Books, 2002); Bamboo Style (Gibbs Smith, 2002); and the International Bamboo Congress Compendium (1998).  Visit his website at: www.bamboofinearts.com

Also exhibiting in CONFLUENCE EAST is mixed media artist Ellen Crocker, whose studio practice includes painting, stitching, and carving. Her works on view at Kahilu Exhibits will include works on silk, using the techniques of Roketsu-zome (Japanese wax resist) and Sumi-e (ink painting), as well as works in wood, which will include hand relief carved birch panels that incorporate graphite and acrylic paint.

Crocker arrived in Hawai’i in 1974, and chanced upon a group of Nisei Japanese learning Sumi-e taught by Sensei Koh Itoh, from Kanazawa, Japan. He became her mentor and friend until he passed away at 92. This proved to be a seminal time in her development as an artist. “The greatest influence in my life has been the art of Sumi-e (ink painting). I had no idea where this passion for Japanese art would carry me. Sumi-e has taken me twice to Kyoto, Japan to study. These experiences deepened my depth of painting with ink. It is the foundation for my work. The medium I am working in at the moment may not be ink, but the simplicity, the brush strokes, the fluidity, the freedom, all come from Sumi-e.”

Crocker has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions. She has been the recipient of many awards, including an ʻ09 Recent Acquisitions from the Art in Public Places Collection, Hawai’i State Art Museum(HISAM) and Finalist, International Quilt Association Annual Show in Houston, Texas. Her work is in the permanent collection of such public institutions as the Hawai’i Medical Service Association and the Hawai’i State Art Museum, as well as being held in private collections in the United States, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany. Crocker has taught art in Hawai’i since 1982, including her current position of Advanced Teaching Artist of Hawai’i, where she writes AITS grants for schools and teaches in the South Kona Public Schools. Visit her website at: www.ellencrocker.com.


Solo Exhibition: Kaori Ukaji

Serenely Proliferating

October 26 – December 20, 2017

Kahilu Exhibits presents a solo show by internationally recognized artist, Kaori Ukaji. Work on display will be Ukajiʻs multimedia installation, Serenely Proliferating, which spans both galleries at the Kahilu Theatre.

Ukaji is an installation artist who creates immersive environments with simple materials. She frequently chooses a singular color, idea and medium, which for many years has been graphite on paper. For the past three years, she has been drawn to the color red, and has focused her work around ideas about her physical body, and the sensuality and possibilities of womanhood.

Her most recent installation, Serenely Proliferating, is completely incarnadine and white. Incarnadine is bright crimson, or a pinkish red, and it saturates the works in the show, which are made of tissue, cloth, skin and thread. These include large, hanging embroidered canvases with fronts and backs exposed, displaying the delicate stitching of thousands upon thousands of thread loops. A floor platform presents the work Incarnadine II, a lush expanse of painstakingly folded, crimson dyed white bath tissue. Pneuma Plate / Skin, sits on a white pedestal, and is created with skin Ukaji peeled from calluses on her feet and then dyed a rich orange-red, casts graceful shadows from the glass plate that it is mounted on. There is a serene, meditative quality to the installation, and the patient, labor intensive processes are visibly present. Ukaji says, “Repetitive motion brings me to the deep inner side of myself, and brings me to a higher level of being.”

Ukaji had a cancer scare last year, and it prompted self-examination. In a May, 2017 interview with Hawaii Public Radio, she said “At that time I was living with ­­­some kind of fear, I may have cancer.  Eventually that feeling became probably I have cancer, kind of feeling. It ended up I didn’t have it but those kinds of things I was thinking about for a couple of months.” For Ukaji, each piece in Serenely Proliferating is a rapturous hymn to her body. “I only make pieces of what I am now,” she says. “I’m 52, and my body is changing physically, and also mentally, as a woman.  Just thinking about my whole life, who I am.” 

“We so are pleased to bring this exquisite, challenging, contemporary art to Kamuela.” says Sally Lundburg, Kahilu Exhibits Coordinator. “Kaoriʻs installations present a deeply moving personal expression, work that has been recognized at the highest levels throughout the state of Hawai’i.”  

Last year, Ukaji was selected as one of four artists for the 2017 Artists of Hawai‘i exhibition at Honolulu Museum of Art (HMA) in Oahu, a prestigious exhibition that has showcased the talents of island artists since 1950. Recent awards from the HMA include The Roselle Davenport Award for Artistic Excellence, The Reuben Tam Award, and The Jim Winters Award for 3D Design. She was a featured artist in the Fifth Contemporary Museum Biennial of Hawai‘i artists on Oʻahu, and has had solo exhibitions in Hawai‘i, New York, Australia, and Japan. Her work resides in the permanent collections of the Omi International Art Center (NY); the  Francis Greenberg Collection (NY); the Asian American Art Center (NY); and Subaru Observatory (HI). In addition to being a practicing artist, Kaori is a faculty member in the art program at Hawai‘i Community College. Visit her website at: www.kaoriukaji.com.



Big Island ʻUkulele Guild, 2017

November 16 – November 19, 2017

Kahilu Exhibits presents the Big Island ʻUkulele Guild 2017, from November 16 through November 19, 2017. The four-day exhibit showcases 'ukulele by eight local builders: Terry Davis, Jane Klassen, Sam Rosen, Tom Russell, Ernest Theisen, Chris Stewart, and Gary Cassel. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, November 16 from 5pm-7pm. This exhibit accompanies Kahilu Theatreʻs 15th Annual 'Ukulele & Slack Key Guitar Festival.

Big Island 'Ukulele Guild 2017, showcases instruments built with a wide variety of materials and styles. Gary Cassel will be exhibiting a “small concert ‘ukulele with a quilted big leaf maple back, flame maple sides, sitka spruce top, mahogany neck, and an ebony fretboard and bridge with abalone rosette and detail.” About the exhibit he writes, “Showcasing our instruments at Kahilu Theatre gives the Big Island 'Ukulele Guild members an opportunity to share their art and craftsmanship with the community. The 'Ukulele and Slack Key Festival provides a perfect venue for acquainting theatergoers with the steps that go into building a hand-crafted instrument. I personally enjoy answering questions and sharing information about this process and about our Guild. It is wonderful to watch people enjoy the variety of sizes, shapes and styles of the beautiful instruments on display.”

Another builder, Tom Russell, is exhibiting an instrument described as a “bright-sounding, ʻwhimsicalʻ spalted waterfall bubinga concert 'ukulele, which features a yellowheart fretboard and brown ebony headstock.” Terry Davis is exhibiting a “tenor 'ukulele made of curly koa and spalted mango”, while Ernest Theisen describes his “Kikipelli Dancer” as “ a tenor 'ukulele with back and sides of oregon black myrtle. Black myrtle is a very rare variety of common myrtle from the Oregon Coast in the Grants Pass area. The top is sitka spruce, neck is spanish cedar, fretboard and bridge are ebony, tuners are Grover gold plated, and the strings are Worth polycarbonate.”

The Big Island 'Ukulele Guild, founded in 2001, is a group of women and men, young and old, professional and amateur, dedicated to improving their craft in the making of fine stringed instruments. They are committed to sharing that knowledge with others through fellowship, quarterly meetings, educational workshops and exhibitions.

Solo Exhibition: Bernice Akamine  
Hinaluaʻikoʻa & Kalo
August 3 – September 8, 2017

Kahilu Exhibits presents a solo exhibition from the nationally recognized artist, Bernice Akamine, from August 3 – September 8, 2017. Work on display includes a new series of sculptures entitled Hinaluaʻikoʻa and her traveling installation Kalo.  
Ms. Akamine is a sculptor and installation artist based on Hawai‘i island, who uses a variety of media to express her ideas. Recurring themes in her work include environmental and cultural issues, as well as sovereignty, and the overthrow of the Hawaiian government. As a Hawaiian and an artist, Akamine feels it is her kuleana to use her voice to open doors for dialogue.

Her new work Hinaluaʻikoʻa presents an immersive environment of both suspended and free standing beaded sculptures. Traditional Hawaiian fish traps initially inspired the work, but it was also influenced by the political discord she heard on talk radio while working in her studio. Akamine noticed that the beading on the artwork was becoming tighter and tighter as the news seemed to escalate.

“Seeking a way to ease the tension I was feeling, I began looking at the ocean for its beauty: the ʻōkole, sea anemone; pololia, jellyfish; ʻakoʻakoʻa, coral; ʻūpī, sponge; wana and hāwaʻe, sea urchin; and limu, algae,” states Ms. Akamine. She began to read books, and visit both the coastline and the Waikiki Aquarium to learn more about these creatures. Through her research of their origin in Hawaiian culture, she found profound inspiration.

Ultimately Hinalua‘iko‘a is most informed by the Kumulipo, the Hawaiian Creation Chant. Of particular inspiration was the forward in the 1997 reprint of the Liliuokalani translation of The Kumulipo: An Hawaiian Creation Myth, written by Pualani Kanakaʻole Kanahele. "The Kumulipo is the reality of our dim past, the foundation for our present, and the pathway into the future. It is a cognizant reminder of our ancestors, their intelligence, failure, conquest, and defeat… It is our genealogy connecting mankind to earth and sky."

Also, for the first time in on view in Kamuela, is Akamine’s large scale traveling installation, Kalo, consisting of eighty-seven individual kalo plants 18" to 24" in height, made from stone (pōhaku) and newsprint. The installation was created with the support of the national nonprofit, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and has traveled to Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, and Hawaiʻi Island.

The corm of each kalo is represented by a pōhaku, and the hā and lau is made of newsprint. Each page of Kūʻe: The Hui Aloha ʻAina Anti-Annexation Petitions 1897-1898 (Petitions) is printed on the back of the leaves, and the districts of each island represented in the Petitions is printed on the front. Community members from Kauaiʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, and Hawai’i Island donated the pōhaku used for the corm of the kalo plants. Each plant depicts one of the five islands represented in the Petitions: Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Maui, and Hawa‘i Island. Says Akamine about the large scale work, “This installation is a non-confrontational way to remind Hawaiians to be proud of their stand for Indigenous sovereignty and to stand up and be counted once again, as there is still much to be done and still much that can be lost.”

Akamine earned an M.F.A. in the sculpture and glass program at the University of Hawai‘i and completed graduate work in natural resource management at Central Washington University. She is also a cultural practitioner with deep roots in Kapa and waiho‘olu‘u, Hawaiian natural dyes. Her grandmother, Kaha Halela‘au, was a kahuna la‘au lapa‘au, a traditional Hawaiian healer descended from generations of healers, and her mother, Audrey Elliott was a lauhala weaver. Akamine has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. Her work is in the permanent collection of such public institutions as the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts; the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts; Wright State University Art Galleries, Dayton, Ohio; the Portland Art Museum, Oregon; and American Museum of Natural History, New York City. Akamine received a 2015 Native Hawaiian Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation; a Community Scholar Award from the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, 2012; an Award of Excellence, Fiber Hawaii 2003; and was a Visiting Artist at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, 1999.


Hawaii Handweaversʻ Hui

Fiber Journeys of Hawai'i Island

September 14 – October 21, 2017

Kahilu Exhibits presents a group exhibition, Hawai’i Handweaversʻ Hui: Fiber Journeys of Hawaiʻi Island, from September 14 through October 21, 2017. The exhibit showcases fiber artists of the Big Island, Oahu, and Japan, who were included in the Hawai’i Handweaversʻ Huiʻs 31st Biennial Juried Exhibition at the Honolulu Museum of Art School on Oahu.

The selected works at the Kahilu Theatre Galleries feature fresh interpretations of traditional types of fiber art including surface design, weaving, lashing, and wearable art as well as art created with nontraditional materials and innovative techniques.

The theme of the Biennial Juried Exhibition on Oahu is interpreted by the artists in a myriad of ways. Biennial Juror, Mary Babcock, MFA, MA/PhD, is a Professor, Fiber Art Chair, and Graduate Chair of Art and Art History at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She writes about the exhibition, “In reviewing the work for Fiber Journeys, I was profoundly struck by the richness of the weaving community, the sincerity of the work and the dedication to fiber a as a point of entry into new and often unfamiliar worlds. The selection was difficult as the work as a whole was diverse and strong. Unable to include all the work in this single exhibition, I landed on works that I thought best embraced the notion of a journey of inquiry- of passage from one place or stage to another, along with the courage, persistence and ingenuity such travel entails. I also reflected in the notion of an artist as traveler, a term originating from the word travail, “to toil or labor.” Journey on... “

One of the Hawai’i artists included in Fiber Journeys of Hawaiʻi Island is Susan Mori. Her work Rainbow Rag is listed as “Sakiori, summer and winter weave, cotton, hand-dyed with Japanese indigo, and hand-cut scrap fabric.”

About the work she writes, “The journey began in Tokyo with cotton thread dyed in indigo, measured and wound around the back beam of my loom. Then packed for a move to Hawai’i, warp ready and waiting to interlace with weft. Now home in Waimea, a weft hand cut from the cloth of old clothing is woven in rainbow colors, evoking a lifetime love of reuse and recycle. Cultural values embodied in the Japanese rag-weaving technique of “sakiori.” Nothing is wasted”.

The Hawai’i Handweavers’ Hui (HHH) is a nonprofit organization founded on Oahu in 1953 to promote handweaving in Hawaiʻi. It currently has branches on both Oahu and the Big Island, with a mission to provide mentorship to new weavers and spinners, and perpetuate the joy of their craft.

Dance of the Bees- The Exhibit

April 7 - June 2, 2017

Dance of the Bees — Mydock, Mango vessel with pyrography

Dance of the Bees- The Exhibit is an invitational group exhibition in conjunction with the Kahilu Performing Arts Classes original multi-media dance show Dance of the Bees on Saturday, May 6 at 7pm and Sunday, May 7 at 4pm – 7. Dance of the Bees examines the life and plight of honeybees and the performance along with the exhibition will be both artistic and educational, based on a topic that is both relevant and urgent. The invited artists were asked to create works of art inspired by honeybees. 

Epic Origami are creating a new origami installation with sunflower and honeycomb motifs. 

Nationally acclaimed artist and beekeeper Garnett Puett will be exhibiting one of his sculptures in which he collaborates with honeybees to sculpt with wax honeycombs.

Kauai artist Sally French has used bee imagery in her artwork throughout her career, she will exhibit 2 large works on paper, one created as a reaction to 9/11 and a new piece for this show. 

Mydock, an artist and woodturner who utilizes pyrography to intricately embellish the surface of his vessels is creating new, honeybee inspired work for this exhibit. 

Fiber artist Shelley Hoist is taking inspiration from stories of honeybee goddesses in Greek mythology.

Hear No Evil — Sally French, wax, pencil, graphite over offset monotype on BFK Rives rag paper

Kahilu Exhibits Annual Juried Exhibition

Kohala Gallery

April 7th- June 2nd, 2017

still water; reflect — Mary Babcock, reclaimed fishing nets and lines

A Climate of Change is a multi-media juried exhibit in the Kohala Gallery at the Kahilu Theatre. Twenty-six works have been selected from eighteen artists by juror Michael Marshall, department chair of the Art Department at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. The selected award winners are:

First Place  Yvonne Yarber Carter & Keoki Apokolani Carter for their collaborative video and photography piece, "Merchant and Richards: You Can Park Here, She's Not a Meter Maid".

Second Place Mary Babcock, "still water;reflect" a textile work made from reclaimed fishing nets and lines.

Third Place  Tamara Moan, for her watercolor "High Tide"

The Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts Arts Advisory Selection Committee came to visit the exhibit on April 6 and selected Yvonne Yarber Carter & Keoki Apokolani Carter's collaborative video and photography piece, Merchant and Richards: You Can Park Here, She's Not a Meter Maid  and Mary Babcock's still water;reflect for the Arts in Public Places Collection. 



• the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period

• the prevailing trend of public opinion or of another aspect of public life


• make or become different

• take or use another instead of


Selected artists:

Keoki Apokolani, Mary Babcock, Yvonne Yarber Carter, Michael Cromwell, Shelley Hoist, Britney Kalawaia, Valerie Y O Kim, Wayne Levin, Tamara Moan, Calley O’Neill, Joseph Ruesing,

Ginger Sandell, Laurel Schultz, Christina Skaggs, Myrna Smeeth, Jay West, Helen White, Scott Yoell

Seafood #3 — Wayne Levin, archival pigment print

Fractured, Ocean, Mauamae Underworld — Valerie Y O Kim, archival pigment print

Solo Exhibits 2017

Solo Exhibits 2017

Eli Baxter, Jean-René Leblanc, Margaret Shields

February 16 – March 31, 2017

Eli Baxter will be exhibiting a series of sculptures entitled Dancers in the Kohala Gallery. Baxter is a sculptor and installation artist. Her inspirations often come from discarded materials, both organic & inorganic, found in the streets. Whether rusty metal straps or pieces from worn leather couches, she enjoys transforming them into something else, or suggestive of something else. Over the years recycled bicycle inner tubes became her dominant media. Her first encounter was from an Amsterdam road where nearly everyone bicycles. Drawn to its contrast of being gritty, dirty, black, and industrial, yet sensual and skin-like, Baxter began gathering inner tubes easily found from the streets. Out of this accumulation Baxter crafts immersive environments, fetishized objects, and protective amulets. By contrasting the worthlessness of the material with her painstakingly detailed handwork she comments on the gluttony and waste of consumer culture and the ways in which desire is manufactured.

Eli Baxter lives in Honolulu where she works as an artist as well as a curator for the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. She holds her Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the state.

Jean-René LeBlanc will be exhibiting a series of infrared photographs entitled Chasing the Light of Pele in the Kohala Gallery. Shot in Hawaii in the context of the Artist in Residency Program at Volcano National Park in December 2015, the series of images explore contemporary photographic representations of the myth and stories of Pele. LeBlanc says, “As an artist, I generally use the camera as a means to connect with my social and cultural environment, in order to express something personal. In Chasing the Light of Pele I am using a digital infrared camera to capture and reveal conceptually Pele’s spiritual beauty that is invisible to the naked eye.”

Jean-René Leblanc is a visual artist engaged with digital media, cultural issues and critical theory, who uses a variety of media to express the concepts with which he works. His artistic research uses photographic imagery, video, interactivity, sound, and visualization to discover and explore new ways of making the invisible visible.  He currently lives in Calgary, Alberta and in 2006 completed his Ph.D. in study and practice of art from the Université du Québec à Montréal. He is an Associate professor of digital arts at the University of Calgary in Canada.

Margaret Shieldʻs Echoes of a Habitat reflects her current studio explorations that center on finding ways to process the experience of observing and inhabiting the precarious environments of the industrial and the natural world. The clash of human Industry with the wild, and also the instances of hopeful co-existence are investigated through abstraction and the use of unconventional materials.  Also of ongoing interest is a blurring of the boundaries between painting and printmaking as separate disciplines. Painting on prints and embedding prints into paintings, experiments like these are an integral part of her process.

Margaret Shields studied Fine Art and Art History at Portland State University from 2002-2006 and then completed a study abroad in Italy in summer 2006. She has been painting and printmaking since that time and has participated in many shows and collaborations in Oregon and Hawaii. Since 2014 Margaret has had the good fortune to be mentored by, and assistant to, master printmaker Hiroki Morinoue, Artistic director of the Donkey Mill Art Center. She assists him in the print studio and in Moku Hanga workshops. Margaret also teaches printmaking and painting classes at the DMAC.

The Voyager Exhibit 2017

January 2nd-February 9th, 2017

Presented by The Waimea Ocean Film Festival and Nā Kālai Wa‘a

© 2015 Polynesian Voyaging Society. Photo credit: ‘Ōiwi TV Photographer Jason Patterson

"In honor of Hōkūle‘a’s current Worldwide Voyage (WWV), The Voyager Exhibit features photographs from 2015 and 2016, taken by the ‘Ōiwi TV photographers on board. 

Hōkūle‘a left the Pacific Ocean for the first time in 2015 in a momentous sail from New Zealand, to Australia, Bali, Mauritius and finally Cape Town, South Africa. In 2016, Hōkūle‘a sailed across the Atlantic, touched land in Brazil, sailed through the Caribbean, traveled through the river ways of Florida, maneuvered up the eastern seaboard utilizing inland waterways, sailed up the Potomac and into Washington, D.C., headed into New York City, sailed up the Hudson as far as Montreal, traveled up the eastern seaboard as far as Nova Scotia, and then sailed down to Norfolk, Virginia, for dry-dock just outside one of the largest naval yards in the world. It was an extraordinary year. The exhibit shares this accomplishment and the sense and feel of being on the journey. 

Only 40 years after her maiden voyage to Tahiti, Hōkūle‘a nears completion of her full circumnavigation around the world. The maiden voyage of Hōkūle’a in 1976 involved the vision, sponsorship and support of hundreds of people, including the instrumental efforts of Tommy Holmes, Ben Finney and Herb Kane—the original founders of the Polynesian Voyaging Society— who made the building and voyage of Hōkūle‘a their life work and brought her into being. It relied on the teachings and inspiration of Mau Piulug, the Micronesian navigator who brought the ancient art of wayfinding and knowledge of celestial navigation back to Hawai‘i; the sponsorship, support and interest of the National Geographic Society, who made the voyage possible; and the long hours of the many people who worked hard to build the canoe, learn how to navigate and make the crossing. 

The first voyage of Hōkūle‘a was made possible through the concerted effort of this diverse group of individuals. It is through the combined effort of many people of diverse backgrounds working together—a spirit embodied by Mau Piulug and foundational and conditional to his working with Hōkūle‘a—that Hōkūle‘a continues on this extraordinary and momentous voyage. The crew on board bears the responsibility of the many people who have believed in and supported the voyage—a weight her leaders feel most acutely. The exhibit reflects and shares a glimpse into the extent of the accomplishment and sense and feel of being on the journey. ‘Ōiwi TV photographers, whose work is on display, are Nā‘ālehu Anthony, Justyn Ah Chong, Kamakanioka‘āina Paikai, Sam Kapoi, Kaipo Kī‘aha, Maui Tauotaha, Jason Patterson and Bryson Hoe.

The Voyager Exhibit includes the 8x13-foot world map developed in collaboration between the festival and Nā Kālai Wa‘a in 2014 to highlight and track the WWV route and bring the magnitude of the expedition to life. A number of members of Nā Kālai Wa‘a volunteer their time to update the voyage map each year, along with installing The Voyager Exhibit, preparing for the opening ceremony and developing curriculum for student visits."- Seventh Annual Waimea Ocean Film Festival Program

© 2015 Polynesian Voyaging Society. Photo credit: ‘Ōiwi TV Photographer Bryson Hoe

For more information on Hōkūle‘a’s current Worldwide Voyage and the Waimea Ocean Film Festival visit:



Transcending Palms

Shelley Hoist

November 10 - December 21, 2016

The Transcending Palms exhibition features the newest work from award winning, sculptural palm fiber artist Shelley Hoist. Hoist was the winner of Kahilu Theatre’s Spring, 2016 juried Art off the Wall exhibit.

Hoist’s work has been featured in magazines and television heralding her innovative use of this beautiful and sustainable raw material. Working in fiber for over 15 years, she transforms sheaths from various giant palm leaves into unique sculptures and functional forms. Transcending Palms will show sculptural vessels, wall pieces, baskets, purses, hats, jewelry, and even her unique memorial urns. New work using encaustic medium as a preservative will also be included. Hoist’s intentional art pieces are designed with the hope of strengthening the viewer's connection to the natural world. Shelley Hoist's website: http://shelleyhoist.com

Photo by Megan Spelman

Spirits of Pacific Islands and Oceans
Wayne Levin and Jozuf Hadley
Exhibition November 10 - December 21, 2016
Jozuf Hadley, also known as Bradajo, will be presenting his Pidgin Poetry at 6pm in the Kohala Gallery during the opening reception.
Wayne Levin will be giving an artist talk in the Kohala Gallery on Friday, December 9th, at 6pm. This event is free and open to the public.
Wayne Levin is an acclaimed black and white photographer that has been shooting the land and oceans since the early 1970s. His otherworldly images transport the viewer into a domain rarely experienced on Earth.
A resident of Hawai‘i since 1968, Wayne received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA from Pratt Institute in New York. His books and monographs include Kalaupapa: A Portrait (1989), documenting the Leprosy Settlement on the island of Moloka‘i; Through a Liquid Mirror (1998), and Other Oceans (2001), Akule (2010), Ili Na Ho’omanaa’o o Kalaupapa 2012, and Flowing 2014.
Levin’s photographs were also included in Kaho‘olawe: Na Leo o Kanaloa (1996) and have appeared in such publications as Aperture, American Photographer, Camera Arts, and LensWork. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1984); the Ohio Arts Council (1989); and the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (2006).
Widely exhibited, his photographs are in major public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Photographic Art, San Diego; The Maritime Museum, Newport News, Virginia, The Dimbola Museum, UK, The Datz Museum, South Korea, The National Academy of Sciences, The Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu; and the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.
Wayne Levin's website: http://waynelevinimages.com

In the mid-70's sculptor and poet Jozuf Hadley, and photographer Levin collaborated on a project combining Wayne's photography with Jozuf's Pidgin Poetry. During this project Hadley and Levin became good friends, but afterwards took separate paths that didn't cross for forty years. Two years ago they reconnected when they both joined SOKO, the South Kona Artists Collective. Immediately renewing their friendship, Levin and Hadley decided to create a two-person exhibit of their current work, recognizing that their art involved the spirit, or spirits of the Pacific Islands; Hadley’s spirits are terrestrial while Levin’s are of the ocean.
Born and raised on Kaua’i, Jozuf Hadley returned to Hawaiian shores in the mid 60’s after attending art college and teaching art at the secondary level on the mainland. Embracing again the natural surroundings of his childhood, Hadley saw a certain antique history in natural objects and old wooden things man-made, that he took great pleasure in arranging in concentrations of likeness to one another. An exhibition of these works led to an MFA in Sculpture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Following his retirement in 2000, Hadley published poetry and lyric short stories in Pidgin under the name Bradajo, an art form he first developed in the late 60’s. And he again began pursuing found objects assemblage sculpture, a body of work now described as “contemporary tribal.”  

Jozuf Hadley's website: http://www.jozufhadley.com

1st Photo: Wayne Levin - Large School of Gray Reef Sharks   |   2nd Photo: Jozuf Hadley - Collar

2016: Kapa Kahilu is the first exhibit of its kind on Hawai‘i Island and will feature some of today’s most respected kapa makers across the state of Hawai‘i. It is a rare chance for island residents, students, and visitors to Hawai‘i Island to be immersed in this ancient and beautiful Hawaiian art form. 
Artists Featured
Moana Eisele Roen Hufford Dalani Tanahy
Sabra Kauka Verna Takashima Bernice Akamine
Solomon Aipo Lisa Schattenburg Raymond Marie McDonald
Denby Freeland-Cole    

Exhibit Opening: Thursday, September 15, 2016, 5pm to 7pm
There will be a free exhibit opening reception. Live music, pupu, and libations will be on offer, and most of the featured artists will be present. The documentary Ka Hana Kapa will be also screened in the Theatre starting at 6pm. 

Kapa Symposium: Friday, September 16, 2016, 4pm to 6pm
Kapa makers and experts will hold a symposium and Q&A session with exhibiting artists and contributing scholars. This is free and open to anyone who wishes to learn more about the art form.

Kapa Making Demonstrations: Select Saturdays During Exhibit
Kapa making demonstrations by local kapa makers will be held at the Theatre on September 17, October 8, and October 29, 2016. These demonstrations will take place from 11am to 2pm and are free to the public.

Hālau O Kekuhi Performance: Sunday, September 18, 2016, 4pm
The exhibit opening weekend will conclude with a performance from the celebrated Hālau O Kekuhi. Dancers from the halau will be wearing the traditional kapa pa'u and malo garments during the event. Tickets for this event will go on sale Saturday, August 27. See show page here.

Kapa Kahilu is supported by grants from the Hawaii Council for the Humanities and the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

Header & Footer Kapa Artwork by Roen Hufford


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