Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Malama Wao Akua Native Species Art at Viewpoints Gallery




Every fall, East Maui Watershed Partnership organizes an art exhibit on native species at Viewpoints Gallery in Makawao. Native species. Not heliconia. Not coconuts. Not bird of paradise or most tropical flowers. Not any species introduced by Hawaiians or other cultures. Not species which snuck here on a boat, attached to a boat, or on an airplane. Species that developed here in Maui naturally or flew, swam, floated here on their own. For the purposes of this exhibit, Maui includes the outlying islands of Lana'i, Kaho'olawe, and Moloka'i.




A few things make this exhibit stand out:


1. The art not only features native species of Maui Nui (like Maui County), but can also depict native landscapes and the people who are helping to preserve them. The species can live anywhere in the watershed, from the top of Haleakala to the reef.

Artist Crystal Jean Baranyk. 




2. This exhibit is a fundraiser that supports the East Maui Watershed Partnership, since 10% of any sold artwork goes to this organization, 45% to the artist and 45% to Viewpoints Gallery.


3. This exhibit also encourages participation by keiki (children), and there are categories just for children. Keiki art is also publicly exhibited, and has separate prizes. 


This year's call for entries. 


4. The East Maui Watershed Partnership also organizes hikes through the watershed, especially Waikamoi Preserve, for artists and potential artists a few months before the exhibit deadline. Also, the Fleming Arboretum in Ulupalakua also hosts art tours through their native species gardens.  To find out about either opportunity, make sure to sign up for the email lists with East Maui Watershed Partnership, Viewpoints Gallery, and Fleming Arboretum.   The hikes and garden tours are a lot of fun, and I still have video from the Fleming Arboretum tour with Bob Dowdy that I haven't finished processing. The problem is that the video makes me extremely sea sick watching it - I swung the camera around way too much and don't know how to slow it down yet or extract the audio from the video. 


Part of a diptych.




I didn't enter this year, for various reasons, although my entry last year was accepted - a whimsical pair of shadowboxes based on two hikes from last summer: the Bird Loop and the Board Walk. There are birds and plants which can move back and forth across the top or bottom. 



At the exhibit opening, this particular painting had a lot of us staring at it. It's like "Where's Waldo?" The trick is to find ALL the Hawaiian stilt birds, and the very last one took forever to find. Once you see it, it's obvious. If I could find them all again, I would circle them in red. 


Find all the Hawaiian stilts in this picture.
(It's easier in person, but the last one is a killer.)

I also got back to the gallery just days before the exhibit closed, and took a few video clips.  Here's the first one.  











One of the other videos includes the keiki entries, and the other includes the wood sculptures and ceramics. I can't remember which one is which. Click on video 2 or video 3 to see them. 


Since the exhibit is open to anyone, and it can take a while to make artwork, get inspired for next year.  

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