Friday, October 19, 2012

Hui No'eau Maui Mural Project: Pics & Update

Last week Hui No’eau welcomed Eric Okdeh to its once annual Artist-in-Residence roster. Joining us for a 3-week residency, Okdeh is currently executing the culminating portion of the two-part 2012 series, the Hui No’eau Maui Mural Project. Following in the wake of Shira Walinksy’s July residency, both lead artists with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Okdeh has been conversing, creating and collaborating with our Maui community to develop a large-scale work of public art that reflects, inspires and represents what we feel “makes Maui MAUI.” Walinksy’s 8’ tall x 16’ wide, double-sided mural is currently installed at the Kaluanui Rd. entrance to Hui No’eau. Okdeh’s mural is projected to reach 16’ tall x 39’ wide and, with the remarkable assistance of the County of Maui’s Redevelopment Agency reWailuku initiative, will be installed at the corner of Market & Main Streets in the heart of Wailuku, on the southward facing wall of Requests Music. The future of the program will rely heavily on the participation and reaction of our community – with the goal of collaborating with neighborhood organizations for years to come to develop a world-class public art program on Maui.  

We’re learning every day that art provides a powerful vehicle for communication, and, if enough people are communicating, for community improvement. Public art, especially, has the ability to touch the lives of entire communities. It offers not just a final piece, but an experience - making the places where we live, work and play more welcoming and beautiful, creating a deeper interaction with our environment, and allowing our community to express its identity and values…and to have fun doing it!

Take a look below at the progress of the October project and please visit, a website created by Oahu-based digital artist David Goldberg, for additional images, details and more. All three artists were engaged in this Hui initiative with the support of the Laila Twigg-Smith Art Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation. Free classes for pre-school aged children and professional development workshops for pre-school teachers are now being provided with the support of the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation. Curriculum development, paints, supplies, equipment and more have been sponsored by a long list of individual donors (which we will share soon!). With your help, we will reach our fundraising goal by the end of the month if you visit today to make a donation. Every dollar makes a difference.

August: Hui Youth Programs & Marketing Manager Kelly McHugh scopes out a wall after meeting with the County of Maui Redevelopment Agency's reWailuku team...imagine the possibilities!

September: Artist Eric Okdeh superimposes a design on the prospective mural wall he spent months devising from conversations with folks including Hokulani Holt, MACC Cultural Programs Director, Scott Fisher, HILT Director of Conservation, Irene Bowie of Maui Tomorrow, Priscilla Mikell and Kumu Ekela Kaniaupio-Crozier of Kemehameha Schools, Laura Larson of Keiki Kokua, Nancy Aleck of Hawai‘i People's Fund, and writer Paul Wood.

October: Upon Okdeh's Maui arrival, Hui No'eau hosts a public "coffee & conversation" event, inviting one and all to meet the artist, review his design and offer feedback to contribute to design revisions. (Pictured: Eric Okdeh, Kelly McHugh, Lanakila Kelliher, Tim Garcia, Briana Welker, Jen Russo, Lana Coryell, Jonathan Starr, Helen Nielsen).

Okdeh's first workshop, Murals & Representation, is attended by a group of (awesome) teens from Wailuku, Kihei and Makawao.

Using a traditional gridding system, participants blew up extreme close-up portraits to 5' x 5' mini mural paintings.

McHugh, Okdeh, and cultural and community adovacte Kainoa Horcajo talk story in Wailuku after collecting neighborhood signatures OK'ing the revised design. "Someone took this shot for us, Kelly and I going old school, and walking the main drag in Wailuku taking signatures and showing off the work. Kainoa is a very respected person in the town (all of Maui really), and a lifelong student of indigenous cultures. We spoke on this bench for over an hour, he broke down the meanings of the four streams of the West Maui Mountains, and spoke about pre-contact Maui. Fascinating person, we could have spoken for 3 more hours on that bench easy."

Okdeh's revised design

Okdeh's second hands-on art workshop "Mosaic Mural Making" segues into a nice collaboration with The Maui Glass Artists Association as they create glass portions to be installed with the final mural.

Okdeh's glass class hard at work!

Preschooler's from Wailuku's St. Anthony School participate in a free mural making Explore & Discover visit at the Hui... maybe we'll install this one on Main St. instead?

Free PUBLIC PAINT DAY event at the Hui, running late into the night. Pictured: Briana Welker, Tim Garcia, Eric Okdeh, Billy Welker.

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