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Our Water, Our Canoe, Ka Moana Kākou Student Exhibit

December 8, 2020 - January 28, 2021

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

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.


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.

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

Pick Up: After the exhibition, parents/guardians will be notified of a pick-up date. More details to come.

For more information or questions, please contact Margo Ray, Exhibition Coordinator;
EMAIL: gallery@kahilutheatre.org 
PHONE: 808-443-1870

Kahilu Galleries are free and open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 1pm – 5pm. For more information, call (808) 885-6868.

The Kahilu Exhibits program is generously sponsored by Mollie & Jim Hustace, Keolani Keawe, Pau Pizza, Kamuela Hardwoods, Woodbury Inspection Group and the Fairmont Orchid.



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