Friday, December 21, 2012

Hui Welcomes Lauren C. Faulkner as 2013 Hui No’eau Annual Juried Exhibition Juror

Lauren Faulkner
Next Friday, December 28 marks the receiving day for the 2013 Hui No’eau Annual Juried Exhibition - easily the most competitive showing of the Hui’s 8 annual exhibition opportunities, which are free and open to the public year-round. Generously sponsored by Jack & Carolyn Schafer Gray, Robert & Fran Davidson and Doug & Jill Schatz, this prestigious mufti-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.

By presenting new work in the Hui’s public gallery space, artists are offered the opportunity to share insights about their processes and inspire students. They help both beginning and established collectors develop sound collecting strategies that reflect their personal interests, evolving aesthetic sensibilities, and create means of integrating new work into their existing environments. 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.

This year the Hui is proud to welcome Lauren C. Faulkner, Owner / Art Consultant at the Fine Art Associates on Oahu to its distinguished roster of Hui No’eau Annual Juried Exhibition jurors. Raised on Oahu, Faulkner earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from the University of Hawai’i in 1986. She worked briefly with design consultants Linn Sol Interiors before quickly learning that her passion lied in working “directly and entirely with art” and began a career with The Fine Art Associates. 30 years later she is the owner and principal consultant, working with a broad range of clients to place artwork in their homes, businesses, hotels and more- working directly with both emerging and established artists from studio visit to conception of new work to placement. Her education, experience, relationships and keen eye for the unique make her a fresh and exciting new face to Hui No’eau – one that both our artists and collectors will gain from tremendously.

Hui: What draws you to this line of work?

Faulkner: It makes me feel good. I love it. I have a passion for it. I wake up every day and get excited about it. The idea of getting to create something new every day with and for my clients and having these great tools – the huge team of artists and consultants that I get to work with – is just terrific.

Hui: What developments have you noticed in the arts market, specifically in terms of your clientele, over the years?

Faulkner: It has been incredibly interesting to see developers and hotel owners becoming so much more open to new ideas over the years. A few years ago I had a client that specifically asked me not to show them anything “abstract.” So of course, I slowly worked it into my presentations, offering details about the process, the artist, the inspiration, until they inevitably changed their preference and wanted to see everything abstract. By educating people and explaining that their emotional responses are valid - that they don’t have to be specifically educated in art and art philosophy to have an opinion about the work to feel safe with it – they begin to become a part of the story. They begin to open up to these new ideas that Hawai‘i’s great wealth of artists are telling.

Hui: How does your work benefit the larger community?

Faulkner: I do this work for our island’s children. When I grew up here, I had ceramics, printmaking and painting in school. Public schools no longer have art as a core element of their curriculum. It’s important to me to see art getting out into public places so that children can be exposed to the wide range of benefits available to them simply by experiencing it as a viewer. I also advance this work as a volunteer with the Art in Public Places program through the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture & the Arts.

Hui: My understanding is that you meet a client first, get a thorough understanding of their wants and needs, and then customize a collection to meet those needs. The challenge of creating a collection by and for the public at a community arts center is somewhat different, how will you approach your jurying task next week? What are your goals?

Faulkner: I’m not coming in with any preconceived notions about what this exhibition should look like; I really can’t prepare myself for something like this. I want to remain open until I see the body of work and then I will like to see a cohesive show. I will look for work that is beautifully crafted and tells an unusual story – work that is unique in some way and that fits the space well. There really aren’t enough good venues for artists to show their work on Maui. It seems like the history and standing of the Hui afford it a great opportunity for risk-taking and for highlighting new artists and ideas. There are so many truly talented, skillful artists in Hawaii right now. This a great opportunity to educate our communities about where our arts movement is and where it’s headed.

Hui No‘eau is also honored to once again welcome the Acquisition Award Selection Committee of the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (HSFCA) for a formal exhibition visit. 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 rotated throughout Hawai‘i state buildings to ensure the widest possible audiences have access to view these works thereby preserving works of art expressive of the character of the Hawaiian Islands. Paired with Faulkner's experience and inter-island client relationships, these opportunities ensure a broad reach for all exhibiting artists.

The 2013 Hui No’eau Annual Juried Exhibition is free and open to the public January 5th through February 18th, from 10 am – 4 pm. Admission is free.

Painting by Julie Houck

Monday, December 17, 2012

Meet Andre Morissette, Designer of "The Dress" at Hui Holidays!

Morissette's work in-progress. Genius alert!
Just 1 more week remains to enjoy Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center’s annual HUI HOLIDAYS tradition. Enjoy free admission to our nearly 100-year old Kaluanui Estate, built in 1917 for Harry & Ethel Baldwin, original inhabitants and founders of the community arts center, boasting the remains of Maui’s oldest sugar mill, 70+ species of plants and trees (pick up your plant guide at the front desk to learn more!), The Kaluanui History Room, 6 professionally equipped core arts classrooms (buzzing with creativity, students and open studio users each day), the new “What Makes Maui MAUI” mural installation by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s own Shira Walinsky, the “On the Wild SideStickwork sculpture by world-renowned artist  Patrick Dougherty, and – of course – Hui Holidays: our annual artisan’s boutique featuring the finest arts and handmade items set at accessible prices by Maui artists.

Back by popular demand, the Hui proudly welcomed designer/ choreographer Andre Morissette to create this year’s holiday “window” installations alongside Maui artist Nancy Skrimstad and a crew of Hui angels. Located in the former dining room space of the Kaluanui Estate, Morissette’s paper dress installation has wow’ed hundreds of Hui visitors, both old and new, inspiring a demand for further details about this fierce and fabulous innovator:

HUI: Tell us a little bit about your design background - were you formally trained?

MORISSETTE: I am formerly a dancer who started to do design work costuming dance shows, musicals and plays. I do not have formal training in design but my training in dance and choreography are a big part of my design work.
HUI: Why do you design? How long have you been doing this kind of work?

MORISSETTE: Because it is creative work and I just like to let my imagination run wild! In 2001, I was introduced to paper as a medium when I had the opportunity to work on a project in collaboration with Linda McGehee, visual arts teacher at Seabury Hall  involving her soft sculpture students and my dance students. The result was “Paper Trail” a dance piece loosely based on paper and its various uses through history. The project incorporated wearable forms made out of butcher paper created by the art students and showcased by the dancers in the fashion runway section of the dance. Most of the props in the dance were also made out of butcher paper. In 2007, I decided to reset the dance adding more wearable forms that I designed and constructed myself. That’s when I started to play with paper. When Caroline Killhour (the Hui’s executive director) asked me last year to create two installations for the Christmas House at the Hui, I decided to bring the concept of paper dress to the next level. 

HUI: Last year was your first dress installation for the Hui - Why did you design another for this year's Hui Holidays?

MORISSETTE: Last year’s installation was a big success. I was going to explore another medium this year but the use of butcher paper to create art work was very appealing to Caroline, so we decided to repeat the concept and push it further.

HUI: Where do you find your artistic inspiration?

MORISSETTE: The inspiration comes from the challenge. I set the challenge and then figure out how I can make this happen. This challenge was to create a dress that would be totally different from the previous one. Last year dress was stately. This year I wanted to do a dress that floats in space. Most of my creative process is problem solving. How am I going to suspend the dress? What do I have to do for the dress to hold it’s shape? How am I going to wrap the paper on the form and give it the shape I want. After a while the work speaks to you and you just go with it.

HUI: Tell us about some of the reactions you have been hearing/ seeing to your dress - any funny or surprising ones?

MORISSETTE: At first people are amazed by the impressive scale of the dress. It takes up a whole room. On opening night the dress was glowing from the inside which you cannot really see during the day. Then they are captivated by the details, the intricacy of the folds, the texture of the paper, the rope details on the bodice, the hat. One woman was so excited about the dress that she wanted to have her wedding dress made out of paper and ask me if I would design her dress.

HUI: What’s next for Andre Morissette!?

MORISSETTE: I am designing costumes for the musical “Hello Dolly” produced by Seabury Hall Performing Arts and I am resetting my dance “Paper Trail” which incorporated paper costumes to be performed at Seabury Hall Dance Showcase in April 2013.

Visit Hui Holidays and Morisette’s DRESS, described by Darrell Orwig, our 2011 Retrospective Artist and 40+ year veteran of the Maui fine arts circle, as “such a fun piece that gives a visual bonus to the whole exhibition!” at Hui No’eau located at 2841 Baldwin Avenue in Makawao 7 days a week, now through Dec 24 from 10 am – 4 pm. Admission is free.

Photo by Aubrey Hord

Photo by Aubrey Hord

Photo by Aubrey Hord

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hui Holidays: Ceramics Takes Center Stage

Hui Senior Programs Manager Anne-Marie Forsythe enjoying the Hui Holidays Pottery Sale

View of the Hui's ceramics studio, powered by solar energy!

Hui teaching artist Bob Flint teaching a ceramics class
Since opening on November 19th, Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center’s annual “Hui Holidays” tradition has welcomed hundreds of new visitors to its public Kaluanui Estate campus. One of 8 annual exhibitions in the historic home, Hui Holidays features a wide and whimsical range of artwork and gifts set at accessible prices. Talented members of our local artists’ community have created unique work in jewelry, ceramics, prints, fiber, photography, glass and paintings, plus handmade ornaments and much more, with sales supporting the educational programs of this nonprofit visual arts center.

Ask the majority of the Hui’s new guests what prompted them through the Hui gates and you’ll find that they are largely ceramics enthusiasts, “we saw the pottery sale sign outside! Which way do we go?” It’s thrilling to see such enthusiasm for this age-old art form, offering a great way to engage folks in what has evolved to be one of the Hui’s most wildly popular programs.

One attribute that sets the ceramics program apart from the other core Hui arts programs is the consistent buzz of energy in the studio; ceramicists and firing techs trading technical tips, discussions comparing ceramics in different parts of the world, friends catching up on missed sessions, and the general goings-on of an arts subculture; a talented group of artists bound together by a common purpose- to unlock their creativity- to form their own community.

“The Hui ceramics program offers an environment of constant creativity and continual innovation through its numerous classes, workshops, and Open Studio Program, in the most well facilitated ceramics studio available for public use on Maui,” says Deb Zaleski, the Hui’s ceramics studio manager, “Our members share and exchange ideas and experiences in an open forum setting, and continue to experiment with a variety of forming, glazing and firing techniques, offering endless possibilities while encouraging inspiration and personal expression.”

Most people, when they hear the word ceramics, think dinnerware and tiles. While these traditional products have been and continue to be important, a new class of ceramics has emerged- sculptural, provocative, nonfunctional forms that inspire narrative and initiate dialogue. Earlier this year, the Hui presented a retrospective exhibition of ceramicist Jennifer Owen's work, an artist who’s “Hui History” began in 1982.  She recalls coming in for an interview with Rob Spenser (“I got so dressed up, I had no idea what I was in for!”) to talk about a teaching gig and left with a position that would have her heading the ceramics department for the next 23 years. She hand drew a sign for a pottery class and found it easy to sign people up for 5 – 8 week sessions. “It was a real ‘ohana, a home away from home for so many of us that were looking for studio space and new ideas” she recalls, “we slowly built structure into a formal ceramics program; we designed rules in cooperation with the Hui arts administrators, held monthly meetings and work days, built tables, paved the stable floors, and we taught everyone that wanted to learn.”

When asked how Owen felt about sharing her retrospective body of work with the Hui community this year, she responded, “I’m very excited about the people that are just becoming a part of this place. The Hui is the best community of artists on Maui where all those exchanges can happen. This is such an incredible environment. Coming here as an artist is also spending time in one of the most beautiful places on the island, and it's forever changing and evolving. For those that have not been here before: you’re in for a surprise!”

We hope you will join us in viewing our spectacular Hui Holidays pottery pieces- and much more. Open every day from 10 am – 4 pm until December 24, with gallery items evolving each week at 2841 Baldwin Avenue in Makawao.  Admission is free.