Monday, January 10, 2011

The Hui Welcomes Artist Patrick Dougherty

Last week Hui No‘eau was delighted to welcome 2011 Artist in Residence Patrick Dougherty as he conducted a preliminary site visit in preparation for his September 2011 residency.

An internationally renowned sculptor specializing in large-scale pieces he’s dubbed “Stickwork,” Dougherty’s work materials will comprise of species of trees that are either nonnative or invasive to Maui’s depleting indigenous forest ecosystem. Members of the Hui’s educational programming team spent much of last week with nonprofit conservationist groups across the county hiking through protected forest reserves in search of useful and respectful collection sites, as well as building relationships with potential collaborators in what will become a full-scale program of hands-on workshops, lectures, and events complementing Dougherty’s installation.

“This project has been nearly 2 years in the making,” says Hui Executive Director Caroline Killhour, “we’re really seeing the amalgamation of arts and social issues resonate not only with our community, but with many new faces and names as a gateway to understanding complex concerns- and it’s catching on like wild fire! We’re proud to be a leader of such an innovative way to bring people and solutions closer together.”

“If guided properly, this art project can serve as a way to educate the public about the invasive characteristics of these weedy trees, such as their ability to grow into monotypic stands,” remarks Invasive Plant Specialist Pat Bily of the Nature Conservancy Maui Program, “It can provide an opportunity to present lectures to audiences you may not typically see, and spread the awareness of invasive plants.”

With Pat’s help, the Hui made some great connections (and some new friends!) with groups like Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC), D.T. Fleming Arboretum at Pu'u Mahoe, Pu‘u Kukui Watershed Preserve- part of the Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Maui Coastal Land Trust, and the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Our most heartfelt thanks to all of those who took the time to work with Patrick and the Hui to learn more about the importance of their work and for hosting some of the best hiking experiences we’ve ever had, especially Teya Penniman, Martha Haulani Vockrodt-Moran, Megan Webster, Denby Freeland-Cole, and Lance De Silva.

Patrick’s installation and the associated programming will serve as a continuation of the Hui’s Arts for Social Change series prompted by last year’s Artists in Residence Favianna Rodriguez and Orlando Reyes, who worked with our community to use the visual arts as a catalyst for beginning a dialogue about social justice. During that time, nearly 500 participants gained from a wide range of printmaking and painting classes, professional development opportunities, portfolio reviews, open studios, intensive political poster and mural arts workshops, a public panel discussion facilitated by a teen mural student and a culminating exhibition that was free and open to the public. This year the Hui will raise the bar by partnering with experts in the field to educate both the arts and conservationist communities about the many ways in which individual expression can raise awareness on a large-scale of a pressing social concern: safeguarding our natural island resources.

Dougherty Installation: Brahan Estate, Dingwall, Scottish Highlands, 2006. Photographer: Fin Macrae

Dougherty Installation: Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA, 2002. Photographer: Duncan Price

Martha Haulani Vockrodt-Moran guides us through the D.T. Fleming Arboretum at Pu'u Mahoe

The intensely beautiful Arboretum at Pu'u Mahoe

Programs Coordinator Lana Coryell & Dougherty smile and say cheese

Playing with sticks in the Makawao Forest Reserve

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