Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 1 with Dougherty: The Huelo Harvest

Within moments of his arrival at the Hui yesterday evening following a 5,000-mile trek from North Carolina, Patrick Dougherty was already playing with sticks.

The Hui Programs team welcomed the artist for his 20-day residency with a handful of stick-specimens in order to best determine a strategy for dispersing volunteers for a 3-day harvest period. With the help of 21 staff members & volunteers, we successfully removed hundreds of strawberry guava saplings from the Huelo-based home of Ariel & Carrie Gebb during today's launch of the project term.

According to our friends at MISC, strawberry guava is regarded as the most damaging invasive plant in the state, having no natural enemies or competitors in all of Hawai`i. The 10-30 foot tall trees leave a sea of red fruits and seeds that are ingested by birds, boar and other animals and dispersed throughout forest areas. It forms dense thickets replacing native Hawaiian plants, and damages the watershed services that diverse forests provide. Its spread over thousands of acres is said to be beyond the possibility of control by existing methods. To learn more, take a look at this video. One of our goals for using strawberry guava is to work with organizations like MISC to help raise awareness in the larger community about Hawaii's endangered ecosystems and move toward a solution.

With just 2 more days of harvesting and 17 more of planning and building the gigantic Stickwork installation at Hui No`eau, we invite you to volunteer to help gather materials and help build the artwork, or to register for a class or special event to help support the project: Sign up to volunteer here/ Learn about classes & events here.

Mahalo to the following for your hard work today!

Amy Chang
Anne-Marie Forsythe
Becky Lewis
Carla Thistle
Colin Meston
Gilson Killhour
Jarod Mower
Jupiter Nielsen
Kathryn Kaufmann
Kelly McHugh
Keri Meyer
Lana Coryell
Lorne Boyd
Nathalie Nunez
Patrick Dougherty
Rachel DeBoer
Rachel Hodara
Rose Gabriel
Sandra Florence
Tara Branham
Ted Krawczyk
Zachary Gabriel

Kat & Nathalie bundle strawberry guava while the group continues to collect.

Kelly pretends to be as hard core as Gilson, who wouldn't dare let her use his chainsaw.

Keri, Anne-Marie & Sandra bond over their excitement to use big tools.

About this program:

The Hui's Artist-in-Residence program A) provides artists with time & space to create new work; B) serves as a catalyst for the exchange of artistic ideas and information between artist and community; and C) introduces unique art forms thus continually reaching and inspiring new audiences and artistic developments in our community.

This year, the Hui is tremendously proud to work with world-renowned environmental sculptor Patrick Dougherty. During his 20-day visit, the artist will work directly with the community to develop, plan and create a site-specific installation using saplings of invasive tree species. The final sculpture will mark the launch of the Hui No`eau Environmental Art Garden: Ho`ololi, a new public art program which aims to cultivate community and raise awareness about Hawai‘i’s endangered ecosystems by inspiring conversation, encouraging public participation, and creating fellowship between artists and environmentalists.

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