Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Hui Teaches

This weekend, Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center will launch the opening of its biennial student & faculty salon, “The Hui Teaches.” Curated by the Hui’s core teaching artists and open studio technicians, this exhibition showcases class and personal artwork inspired by the Hui’s adult classes and workshops from the past two years.

Last week’s receiving day yielded 209 entries for consideration by 15 curators representing 6 Hui departments: Printmaking, Painting & Drawing, Jewelry, Ceramics, Fiber and Photography. When asked to describe the process of selecting pieces for this exhibition in 5 words or less, responses ranged from, “the highlight of my day,” (Michael Clements), to “Variety, exploration, beauty, and expression,” (Chenta Laury). Ultimately, 107 works were selected for the exhibition – a living catalog of Hui offerings – by 78 artists ranging in experience from novice to well-established.

Interacting with the selected artists to gain feedback about their thoughts on exhibiting proved to be a validating, inspirational and, at times, emotional process - which is why we would like to share excerpts with YOU! Here is a sampling of what they had to say:

"First of all, I am amazed that my piece was selected for the show and very excited that professionals in the arts thought highly of my work. I submitted the piece mainly because (my instructor) called me and expressed a strong desire for me to participate. I absolutely LOVE the Hui. It opened up to me something I would never have had the opportunity to learn. I fell in love with creating jewelry using silver and argentium. I spend 4-5 months a year on island and the Hui has given me something to focus on in my free time. I look forward to going to classes as well as open studio. It's fun to see what others are working on and I have made many new friends, which is always a bonus for me. The Hui is definitely a community of talented and friendly people." (Eileen John)

"I am very honored and delighted to have my pieces chosen for this exhibition.  I submitted my work because I feel it is important to help gauge my progress as an artist and it's also a way to give back to the Hui. I enjoy seeing other artist's creations and feel that the sharing of my work might help inspire someone else to find a new idea within themselves. As a community, I think it is important that we recognize both the new and unusual as well as traditional approaches to art. I have very much enjoyed learning new techniques at the Hui and look forward to many more years of interactions." (Glenna Rand)

"We all bring different backgrounds and levels of artistry to these classes and in my felting class, we felt a good deal of freedom to explore, to do something new, and not to focus on what finished piece might look like.  I usually work in watercolor with some precision, so the idea of taking a class using fuzzy fibrous material was quite alluring to me. It was fun to have my options be completely altered, of how to shape or describe something.  I felt a little high after my first class, for the fun of poking at a felt surface with needle and teeny bits of wool. Such a revelation! The shows at the Hui show off our artistic community, away from pressures of "marketplace." Sometimes I walk through a show here or there, and imagine what I would think of the artist community as represented there, if I were otherwise unfamiliar with Maui. The Hui shows invariably create an impression of originality, accomplishment and creative fervor that one way or another is born of Maui's wondrousness, especially in our own "upcountry." (Elizabeth Keller)

"I first want to say thank you for providing this opportunity for all of us who have taken classes at the Hui. To me, after taking classes in many mediums over the last 5 years, I wanted to find out if I had progressed to a point that others, besides my husband & family, found my artwork to be enjoyable.  This salon gave me the validation that I was looking for.  I find so much joy in the creative process & I was hoping that that energy was coming through in my artwork. When we as a community allow all our members to be creative in whatever format they enjoy, then the community becomes so much more on so many levels. Inclusiveness and free expression are building blocks to a welcoming community and I believe the Hui fosters that type of community. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this artistic community on Maui." (Barb Tacyshyn-Roth)

"Even though I am an art teacher, I took a class to learn short cuts and tips on a technique that I don't have experience in.  I struggled as if I were a true beginner. The fact I got into the show at all is an honor.  Plus, the paintings I liked the best did not get in.  One has to 'go for it' because you never know what will get chosen. Putting something out there for the world to see can be scary if you don't have a lot of experience. Even with experience, it can sometimes feel as if you are standing naked on the street corner. We just have to remember our creative souls are beautiful. I discovered years ago, it is the act of creating, not the destination, is what is important. To share ones work just might be the inspiration for another's creativity." (Harriet Huff)

"I submitted my work to the Student & Faculty Salon because I feel it is a great opportunity to get exposure and be a part of the art community on Maui. It is scary to put one's artwork out to the community, so the affirmation is great.  I feel like I still have so much to learn, taking the oil painting classes from Terry Lopez at the Hui has been a wonderful learning experience, I hope to take more classes.  I really love to paint and have a creative outlet, connecting with other artists through the Hui has made it that much more enjoyable." (Carla Gangini)

"I chose to submit my art for this exhibition to promote my art and to share the creative work.  I am thrilled and privileged to be recognized by all who were in the jurying process, I think this particular exhibit is very cool for all of us, taking classes and growing in our craft.  I am excited to be sharing my work with the Hui community yet slightly intimidated as there is lots of talent.  Art will save our souls and this type of community support continues to fan the flames of creativity." (Tim DeShong)

"I actually thought about entering for quite some time but could not decide what to put in.  I had taken over 6 classes so wanted to enter a variety of media into the show.  I think that this is an important show because I think it is unique in Hawaii.  No other visual arts organization does this to my knowledge.  Having it every two years is good timing.  It is important to showcase the kind of work being done by those who participate in the Hui classes. I hope that it encourages the novice as well as the accomplished artist.  I like taking something that I am not familiar with as it gets me thinking creatively in other areas.  Painting crosses over into printing, etc. I was flattered to be accepted. This show is important in supporting the visual arts because it showcases the producing of art from a wide variety of studios." (Judy Bisgard)

"I submitted work for this exhibit because I like to support the Hui and this show lets the community see what types of classes are offered and some of the results which they too may be interested in or be inspired to join in and take a class. I'm very pleased and honored to have my work accepted for the show. I like the idea of having the instructors for the student show as the jurors because they have a real feel for what has gone into the pieces from what they have rather than an outside juror who is only picking on their tastes." (Mary Grandy)

"I applaud your efforts to have a more interactive show with artists, teachers, and the community. This past Spring after a 14 year hiatus from working with clay, I found myself drawn to create in this medium again and attended Chris Cowan's terra cotta hand building class.  She is an outstanding teacher with a beautiful spirit of generosity.  I was encouraged by Chris to enter my "Tea for Two” tea set in the Hui's 2013 Student & Faculty Salon.  In the future, I look forward to participating in the Hui's Open Ceramic Studio program when my schedule allows. As an artist/ musician/ educator, I am deeply committed to the transformative powers of the creative process to enlighten, inspire, and uplift the Art of Daily Living.  It feels natural to me to have different forms of creative expression cycle through my life like the seasons exemplifying the unity within diversity.  I encourage others to explore the creativity process in all its many forms to enhance their quality of life and enrich the community as a whole. Thank you for the work you are doing to promote creativity and communication in the Maui Arts community!" (Suzee Waters Benjamin (Suchi))

"I submitted my work because I feel it’s important to support the Hui community, and to keep the bigger community interested and meeting, enjoying new artists.  It is also good for the artists to see and get inspired by their peers new works. Art, for me, is a way to explore " ideas", open my eyes, feel & see my heart, look differently at the world, share vision, see common ground, be quiet, be still, see time evaporate, feel colors, textures, see differences, feel movement, see how the details of the outside world influence my inner world, feel my own vast uncertainties and joy and everyday occurrences that are fantastic, dark, light and unlanguaged. Nature is straightforward and totally non-judgmental. Neutral. The rest is interpretation. And sharing my art terrifies me. Has always terrified me. Thatʻs why I have to do it." (Marcy B Greene)

"I am surprised, elated and grateful that my efforts have found favor with the curators of the 2013 Student & Faculty Salon, "The Hui Teaches." I am approaching my 82nd birthday on July 30. My wife Sandra, long time activist with, supporter of and friend of the HUI motivated me to join the Jewelry Studio circa 2007. I was at a loss at first, never having done any art and never even thought of myself as a creative person. Since that time, under the encouraging and expert tutelage of J. B. Rea, I have initiated, developed and honed my skills. It is exciting and tremendously rewarding at this point in my life to find I have a creative spark... The Hui is, if not the most valuable asset on Maui, it ranks near the top. It offers a plethora of artistic venues for young and old and enriches ones creative spirit." (David Florence)

"I started taking jewelry classes earlier this year and I kept taking them... It felt good to be creative again.  It was plainly good for me, heart and soul.  I heard about the exhibition first from my Teacher, Luana Coonen.  The idea of being in the show inspired me and I got a vision of what I wanted to create... I challenged myself to do things I had not done before and I did it!  I was as stunned with my own creativity and thank the Hui and my teacher, Luana for the opportunity to surprise myself and share my creation with others! I feel like a little kid showing 'Mom' the picture I made in class that day.  "Look at this Mom, I'm so proud!" ... The Hui has so many fine artists.  I am constantly amazed at the level of talent, skill and imaginations of the artists at the Hui and the love of those that support such a fine establishment.  What an amazing place and it is all made possible by our community.  To be counted among them is a dream! ... Art is an expression I cannot find anywhere else. It is my time for myself, for whatever is going on in my life, to be with me, to challenge myself, to love myself.  It is a time of self-discovery, healing and fun. Art is good for my well-being and the Hui provides a place for all of us to come together - a place for the 'Whole' of us to grow, collaborate, expand and create a more rich community for us now and for those to come.(Melinda Alexander)


 “The Hui Teaches” celebrates the artist in all of us and recognizes our community’s many creative ideas, methods, and interests. Join in this important conversation as we deepen our understanding of who we are as a Hui ‘ohana! (Exhibition dates: May 18 – July 5, 2013 / 10 AM - 4 PM. Opening Reception for members, curators and artists: Friday, May 17 / 5 – 7 PM).

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