Best People / Best Party Organizer
Morgan Childs Moana Events
The very first event I ever saw Morgan pull off was a fashion showcase at thirtyninehotel that had white roses branded with the logo in gold paint. It pretty much knocked me on the floor. Over the years I’ve seen her continue to kill it with out of the box thinking, over the top décor, and an amazing ability to corral vendors. She’s fantastic. Born and raised in Hawaii but educated in New York, Morgan brings forthright intuitive wisdom to people who need it. Ten years of crawling inside her clients brains and pulling out a masterpiece every time, it’s about time we recognize.
Best Local Contemporary Sculptor Whose Muse is the Daemon
If you aren’t familiar with Jo Rowley’s work, then let me introduce you: Reader meet Hawaii’s most interesting sculptor, who saves her cats’ whiskers, de-scales her own fish, and creates her own lava-looking glaze all in the name of a teapot. Her work speaks for itself.
Local Professional Photographer
They say the only literal difference between the amateur and professional photographer is that the latter gets paid for his work and the former doesn’t, but the difference between a John Hook photograph and anybody else’s is that they will make you laugh one second and angry in the next that you didn’t take the picture yourself. He’s a wedding and magazine photographer, but he’ll shoot anything. His favorite subjects? “I just really love taking pictures,” he said. “I always have random ideas in my head, still images, [or] I wonder things like, ‘what that would look like if . . . ’, or ‘I wonder if it would work to shoot this like that,’ or ‘who can I convince to take off their clothes for this picture?’” He bought his first camera, a Nikkormat EL, at the swap meet in 1997, and his only off-the-field training was Photo 101 at LCC. “All I remember from that class is how to spend all day in one room and fail all your classes.” He’s going on a road trip through the continental US and hopes to come back with enough quality images to make a photo book. We’ll keep you posted. After all, his first paying gig was a cover shoot for the Weekly in 2008. You’ve come a long way, Hooksie.
Local Amateur Photographer
Grady’s the kind of photographer who knows exactly when it’s the right time to press the shutter button to capture the spontaneous moment, and since amateur is French for “lover of,” it’s clear Grady loves the camera, or being behind it, anyway. He shoots film, “primarily BW400CN these days,” he said. “After going to a Wayne Levin lecture and hearing him say that’s what he uses, I started using it more.” He publishes a biannual photo zine called Aloha Friday that would be fun if only just to see if you’re in any of the pictures, but is more interesting because of his aesthetic, which I call shot from the hipster. He uses a bunch of high-quality point-and-shooters: a Leica Mini Zoom, a Yashica T4 Super, and other cameras photographer hobbyists drool over. He published his last two Aloha Friday issues on funds raised by his kickstarter, so buying any Gillan is not only a cool investment, but a support of a local artist who only does what he loves to do: take perfectly-composed photographs of beautiful drunk people.
Best Local Artist to Follow on Instagram
@bubbleshield is really the only reason to dust off your old Instagram box machine. Brad Capello’s feed is a mine of hilarious, twisted and irreverent jewels, apropos of everything, and conscious of nobody, and they will rub your pic-of-whatever-you-had-on-your-plate-at-Nobu-last-night’s face in its own lameness. When asked about his medium of choice, he texted back, “Sarcasm.” But, in reality he’s an artist who makes installations or 3D collages out of paper and other mixed media. Where does he come up with his Instagram posts? “I like to search for images from Second Life, because that is terrifying to me.” He’s also one of the best-dressed guys on the island. He could be the gay Kennedy brother. Gay F. K. Let the double-tapping commence. (If you’re still working with a 2004 Nokia Pterodactylphone, you can look him up on your computer at http://[statigr.am], keyword bubbleshield.)
Bartender to Pour You A Drink When You Need A Laugh
Emily Urbaniak is one of the few vets left from the original staff when Downbeat Diner opened almost two years ago, which just shows you the grit she’s made of for the grime she’s gotta put up with on a long, dark First Friday night. So it’s even more impressive that she’s able to keep the smile up. “It’s a conscious decision. I look at it like a positive challenge.” Her favorite drink? A wolf bite shot, because she “likes to shake things.” Apparently it’s made up of “Jager, blood and hair.” Personally, her favorite drink is a milk shake, but she admits “they both bring boys to the yard.” For a good time, find her Wed.–Fri. at Downbeat at night. “Always nights,” she says. “Daylight scares me.”