Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Announcing the Hui's 2010 Solo Artists

The purpose of the Hui No‘eau exhibition program is to cultivate in the public a fuller appreciation of and interest in art by promoting cultural exchange, spurring dialogue, enhancing awareness of and providing access to the visual arts; ultimately creating a space for community arts.

The Solo Artist Exhibition stands out as one of the only of its kind in the state of Hawai‘i, providing artists the unique opportunity to be intricately involved in all facets of planning and installation. The exposure this opportunity provides for the artists has proven to be invaluable and has been instrumental in furthering the careers and artistic growth of those selected by the Hui’s highly respected roster of exhibition committee members.

As an organization dedicated to enabling community access to the broad range of benefits offered by the visual arts, we consistently seek individuals that can handle the challenge of translating complex ideas into imagery, thus allowing our constituency to learn, question or become inspired to create in their own way. The Solo Artist Exhibition is vital to the Hui’s exhibition program in its ability to tell a story about the participating artists, the way they work and providing access to them to gain a critical perspective about how and why this new body of work came to be.

This year, we proudly present Eli Baxter and Jaisy Hanlon as our featured artists.

Baxter’s site-specific installation will incorporate sculpture that is part of an on-going body of work that combines themes of transformation, obsession, labor, reproduction, and fertility while exploring a dialogue with space and the relationship between the inside and outside. “I want the viewer to become aware of not only the artwork, but the space that contains it (and his/her movement within it), so that this becomes an element as well to his/her experience,” says the artist, “The work itself is both highly suggestive of organic plant life or foliage, yet at the same time, it has a very industrial, man-made fetishistic quality. These elements and ideas tie into my on-going interest in the interaction and interrelation between nature and human nature, and feels appropriate for the Hui No`eau as an art center that that has a complex, varied history.”

Hanlon’s new body of work will explore a nature that has been slightly mediated by fantasy- imaginary creatures floating in surreal environments that reference reality only in their singular parts- and expand her ideas from her traditional 2D format into a more sculptural format. With foci including Audobon etchings, plant armatures, an open air terrarium and spider web sculpture, her resulting Wunderkrammer, (or “cabinet room”), will pay homage to the relationship between history and nature. “My intent is to create work that is a hybrid of natural history specimen and contemporary sculpture,” states Hanlon, “I believe that artists have a responsibility not only to surprise but to educate- it is my hope that I can achieve both with this body of work.”

To learn more about the Hui’s Solo Artist Exhibition and read about past artists, refer to our past entries: Artist Announcement & Artist Interview.

The 2010 Solo Artist Exhibition will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm in the Hui’s main hose September 24th - November 10th, 2010.

Eli Baxter

Jaisy Hanlon

Hui & Kamali'i: Partners in Arts Education

Over the course of the last year, representatives from both Hui No‘eau and Kamali‘i Elementary have worked together closely to develop and implement strategies for integrating the visual arts into Kamali‘i’s core curriculum, a public school in Kihei that until now had no formalized arts programming.

A planning committee comprised of Kamali‘i Principal Mary Auvil, community development & grants volunteer Yvonne Biegel, Susan Erickson of the Parent Community Networking Center, Hui Children’s Program Coordinator Kelly McHugh and Hui Executive Director Caroline Killhour developed a pilot program last spring that would use the visual arts as a catalyst for learning history and science lessons currently being taught in 2nd grade classrooms. The resulting 10-session program engaged 50 second-grade students and 2 classroom teachers in an age-appropriate, sequential based arts curriculum integrating the visual arts into subjects of life cycles and anthropology. “My students absolutely loved the program,” remarked Kamali‘i classroom teacher Debi Clapper, “I look forward to working with the Hui on a larger scale. The teaching artist was amazing!”

Based on the success of the pilot, the program doubled its reach in the fall, creating partnerships between 2 Hui teaching artists and 4 Kamali‘i classroom teachers and extending arts education to both the 2nd and 4th grades. With themes ranging from Inuit Indians, the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum and Hawaiian culture and anthropology, students built relationships between native Hawaiian environments, indigenous peoples, and world history to allow the discovery of their artistic hand.

“It is through the arts and our partnership with the Hui that we have been able to change and enhance the learning experience for each child,” remarks Kamali‘i Principal Mary Auvil. “My hope is that integrating the arts into our curriculum will change the learning experience for students and teachers alike. While I believe it is imperative that schools focus on helping each student meet grade level standards and pass the Hawaii State Assessment, the obvious bears mentioning: passing the Hawaii State Assessment does not define education.”

With phase III plans to extend these opportunities into an after-school program, the goal is to enable access to a high-quality arts education to all interested children living in the Kihei community, even those not currently enrolled at Kamali‘i Elementary.

The Hui wishes to extend its deepest gratitude to the Kind Heart Free Spirit Foundation for making this program possible. Because if their vision and generosity, we look forward to continuing to develop arts enrichment programs for all children living in Maui’s Kihei community. Robin Courson's 2nd grade Kamalii students, Maia Valois, Henry Johnston, Elijah Rodrigues, and Emily Raikes, show off their new art work, developed with Hui teaching artist Nathalie Nunez.