Thursday, December 29, 2011

Meet the Juror: A Conversation with Allyn Bromley

Yesterday’s receiving day for the 2012 Hui No’eau Annual Juried Exhibition yielded 306 original works of art from artists living on Maui, throughout Hawaii, and beyond. The Kaluanui living & dining areas, now public exhibition spaces, were bursting at the seams with art of all media. Our hard-working exhibitions & events coordinator, Rachel Edelman, could not keep the staff away from the space- our reactions to the work bouncing off the walls barely faster than the some 30 Camp Kaluanui keiki bustling through the grounds at recess. Simply put: receiving day is awesome. The energy of the artists and volunteers, the suspense of not knowing who will submit, the excitement of meeting new faces, and the exceptionally broad range of artwork making its way into the house all combine to make these days stand out as some of the most fun we see.

Today I was introduced to the woman facing the greatest challenge of all the artists combined, Honolulu-based Allyn Bromley who has been working all day to jury this most competitive exhibition. Rachel and I were invited into the Hui’s artist cottage, where she is staying while on Maui, to share some lunch together during a much-needed break and to chat about the selection process.

A bit about Allyn, who has lived and worked in Honolulu since the early 1950s before earning a BFA from the University of Hawai‘I and MFA from the University of Colorado. She has done post-graduate work at Pratt Graphic Center in Manhattan, and at Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Washington. Allyn retired from teaching printmaking at the University of Hawai‘i in 2000 to pursue further explorations in the art of the print. Her current interests are in deconstructing the screen printed format to recombine and reconstruct images in the third dimension.

Allyn is an elegant, thoughtful, fascinating woman. When asked “so, how’s it going?” her response was this: “it’s a tough challenge being a solo juror, because the exhibition is based completely on my opinion. And my opinions are rooted in my belief that art is an important part of a social context. I see this Hui exhibition as a symposium for ideas, for taking art forward and for reflecting what we are today.” It was clear that Allyn was facing a thrilling challenge brought on by our artist community.

I proceeded to explain to Allyn that one of the greatest challenges we face is responding to the artists whose work was not selected by a given juror. In other words, “why are you making the selections you’re making?”

“So much of what I’m seeing is skillful, beautifully crafted, or dazzling- but lacking the relevance needed to actively engage in a communal discussion," she responded, "This is a forum beyond the decorative. In some cases I was drawn to pieces that I would hang in my own home, but this was not their place. Many other pieces simply needed their own, separate space, and by including them here the whole room would have been thrown off. Then there were pieces selected for the exhibition that don’t speak to me, but I found it important that they be SEEN. They have formal values, things about them that are interesting, they’re provocative, they represent new ideas.”

Ultimately, Allyn is creating a cohesive, visual conversation with the space offered to her. In her artist’s statement, she uses key words like structure and technical skill as well as sincerity and passion.

When asked what it was like to observe Allyn’s process, Rachel responds, “She has been incredibly thoughtful. Every piece has had an equal opportunity to be included. Lots of time went into the selection process. The “logic vs. instinct” dichotomy she explained in her lecture last night was clearly visible- and her instinct does not trump the logic here.”

“I’m a mother and a teacher,” continued Allyn, “I want to encourage people and I want everybody to be realized in their artistic endeavors, which makes the jurying process even more difficult for me. I almost feel like a midwife whose responsibility is to assist in putting something out into the world that will take the whole dialogue of art further. Art must be intellectually challenging. We’re not here to passively look at what has been said over the years, no matter how beautiful it is, it has to be reflective of who we are as a people.”

Please join us next Friday, January 6th at 5 pm to view the final selections, meet many of the artists, and have a first chance to make a purchase. All sales support the educational programs of Hui No’eau, one of Maui’s only remaining nonprofit visual arts education center.

Mahalo nui loa to Jack & Carolyn Schaefer Gray, Robert & Frances Davidson, and Louis & Jolene Cole for sponsoring this important exhibition.

-Kelly McHugh, Youth Programs & Marketing Manager

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Day at the Hui

Mahalo to Hui Development Assistant Tara Crawford for sharing her "day in the life at the Hui" photo shoot with us, starring the awesomeness of 8-year old Kirra Crawford.

"Here are some pictures from Kirra's adventures in Hui-land. She looks like Alice in Wonderland running away from me outside. If people only realized how much fun children could have exploring Kaluanui!"

Posing inside of Patrick Dougherty's "On the Wild Side"

Strawberry guava in a strawberry dress

Enjoying the dazzling DRESS holiday installation piece led by visionary Andre Morissette with the help of Maggie Costigan, Mary Grandy, Caroline Killhour, Mary Ann Lambert, Kathy Marchetti, Kerry Nel, Darrell Orwig, Karuna Santoro, Cristina Schenk, Nancy Skrimstad, Marc Tolliver and Billy Welker.

Warming up by the fireplace

Subtly hinting to mom which Hui Holidays pieces she wants for Christmas!

Lucky, lucky girl! Someone got special permission from the Executive Director for this shot!

Ready to get lost in the Hui's bamboo forest

In search of jackson lizards

From the photo studio to the solarium she goes

And into the garden...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hui Announces Acquisition Award Selection Committee Visit by the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts for '12 Annual Juried Exhibition

Hui No‘eau is proud to announce that its 2012 Annual Juried Exhibition has been selected by the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (HSFCA) for a formal exhibition visit by their Acquisition Award Selection Committee.

Part of the State’s Art in Public Places Program, which serves to strengthen the State Foundation’s capability to "stimulate, guide and promote culture and the arts, history and the humanities" through the field of the visual arts, the Committee makes recommendations to the HSFCA regarding the purchase of works of art. Selected artwork is then rotated throughout Hawai‘i state buildings to ensure the widest possible audiences have access to view these works thereby enhancing the environmental quality of state public places; cultivating the public's awareness, understanding and appreciation of visual arts; contributing to the development and recognition of a professional artistic community; and preserving works of art expressive of the character of the Hawaiian Islands.

When asked why this program is vital to our larger Hawaiian community and why the Hui’s community should pay attention, HSFCA Executive Director Ron Yamakawa remarked, “Since the Hawai`i State Legislature passed the Art-in-State-Buildings Law in 1967, Hawai`i has become the first state to set aside one percent of the cost of state buildings to acquire and commission works of visual art that beautify and humanize the built environment. Advancing the concept of a statewide “museum without walls,” the program expands aesthetic opportunities as part of daily life and enables people of all communities on all islands to obtain aesthetic and educational experiences from art in public places. It stimulates broader interest in works by local artists and recognizes the professional achievements of visual artists by presenting recognition awards for outstanding works of art at selected exhibitions.”

Hui No‘eau Executive Director Caroline Killhour goes on to say, “It is the Hui’s highest honor to be selected for an exhibition visit by the state- one that will be shared with our artists community and truly raise the bar for what has become the most competitive exhibition of our annual repertoire. We can hardly wait to see the work that comes out this year, and invite our entire Maui ‘ohana to share the power of creativity with us all.”

Receiving day for the 2012 Hui No‘eau Annual Juried Exhibition is Wednesday, December 28, 2011 / 9am – 4pm, with the exhibition running January 7 – February 19, Monday through Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm. There is no cost to view this exhibition, or to enjoy the Hui’s Kaluanui estate.

Generously sponsored by Jack & Carolyn Schaefer Gray, Robert & Fran Davidson and Louis & Jolene Cole, this prestigious multi-media arts competition offers an opportunity to view the current work of Hui members as well as participate in topics upon which contemporary minds are engaged. Nationally renowned guest jurors represent respected curators and artists from Maui, Hawai‘i and beyond, offering a different perspective for a unique and fresh show every year. With only 53 pieces selected from a record-breaking 306 entries last year, the Hui No‘eau Annual Juried Exhibition continues to represent a highly competitive and valued program in our visual arts community.

This year the Hui is fortunate to welcome distinguished juror and printmaking artist Allyn Bromley, who remarks “I am delighted to be offered the experience of jurying for Hui No‘eau. The work that I have seen there is of high quality and serious intent, and it is my pleasure to work with the Hui to select another exhibition of their best. As an artist trained in an era of formalism, the fundamentals of art making are important to me. I respond to the elements and principles of structure, the varieties of expression, and the technical skills of the artist. More than that, however, are the unquantifiable components of a work, the sincerity with which the artist works, the ideas and selection of materials to express those ideas, and the obsession or passion of a work — those things interest me as well. Being a sole juror is a responsibility I take seriously. I look forward to my part in helping make this exhibition as successful as your past exhibitions have been.”

Receiving Day: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 / 9am – 4pm
Lecture with the Juror: December 28 / 4:30-5:30pm / FREE
Exhibition Dates: January 7 – February 19, 2012
Members’ Opening Reception: Friday, January 6, 2012 / 5 – 7pm

This exhibition is free and open to the public. Exhibition hours: January 7 – February 19, 2012, open Monday – Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm.

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, and enhancing awareness of and providing access to the visual arts—creating a space for community arts. As an organization dedicated to enabling community access to the broad range of benefits offered by the visual arts, we consistently seek individual artists that can handle the challenge of translating complex ideas into imagery, allowing our constituency to learn, question or become inspired to create in their own way.

“There are very few venues here on Maui where art can be shown in a proper way. The fact that any Maui resident or Hui member has the opportunity to exhibit in this setting is truly a gift. We are so lucky to have a community that supports the arts and I feel thankful to have the Hui as a place of inspiration, collaboration, and community to keep me growing as an artist!” —Tim Garcia

Hui No‘eau is committed to exhibiting and supporting artists working in Hawai‘i as well as those with a connection to the state. Since 1977 the gallery, free and open to the public six days a week, has focused on exhibiting Hawai‘i artists, mounting 6-8 exhibitions a year with over 350 participants annually. Exhibitions at the Hui are presented to support artists and to educate and inspire the 16,000 visitors to the gallery each year.

The mission of Hui No`eau is to unlock creativity through exceptional visual arts education. The Hui provides a wide range of programs that support lifelong learning in the arts including public classes and visiting artist workshops, open studios, lectures, exhibitions, community art events, historical house tours and educational outreach programs with schools and community partner organizations. One of the last of its kind on Maui, the Hui is a nonprofit, non-degree granting, community arts education organization offering open access to quality arts instruction by teaching artists. Our programs and services are accessible to all, regardless of artistic aptitude or ability to pay tuition.