Lucky for us, inspiration from which our working artists can draw is in no short supply. It’s all around us, and gallery spaces across Oahu are showcasing work that challenges our systems and beliefs, teaching us that there is more than one way of seeing the world.
Honolulu Museum of Art
Courage and Strength: Portraits of Those Who Have Served
These powerful portraits of American men and women who’ve served in Iraq and Afghanistan offer glimpses into the inner struggles and contradictions of the warzone.
The exhibit shows photography from Nina Berman, Ashley Gilbertson, Peter Hapak, Tim Hetherington and Suzanne Opton. British-American photojournalist Hetherington, who was killed while on assignment in Libya last year, is the co-director of the Academy Award nominated 2010 documentary Restrepo.
With ID, admission is free for military personnel and their families.
Boardshorts: A Perfect Fit
The museum’s textile gallery is a deceitfully boring gallery in name alone, especially when it houses Boardshorts: A Perfect Fit, currently on view there. The vibrant colors and history of Hawaii’s unofficial uniform are spread across the walls, featuring shorts that date back to the first era in the 1950s. Along with shorts of some of Hawaii’s most famous surfers, some of their boards are on display, too. From the early above-the-knee palakas to JAMS to the long styles of Quicksilver, these boardies are what collectors and stylies alike drool over.
Honolulu Museum of Art: Spalding House
A Thousand Words and Counting
The rebirth of the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Spalding House continues with education-centric shows, challenging the way we respond to art through fields of math, music, social studies, phys-ed and, in its most recent opening, literature. A Thousand Words and Counting shows how letters, powerful in their arrangement in a sentence, can also translate in less definable ways. Words and works by Ed Ruscha, Goya, William Blake and Queen Liliuokalani are all featured in unique ways, connected by our pure human ability to speak in languages. Curator Aaron Padilla says he’s still working out the curriculum for the shows about the other classroom subjects, but I heard from Summer in Homeroom that Kanoe once said that Maddy wanted to go to the science show whenever it opens, but her bf’s in D-Hall. We’ll keep you posted.
THE HUMAN IMAGINATION
Jun Jo of Human Imagination in Chinatown clears out the apparel for an art show from time to time, and luckily for us, we have more than a few artists in Hawaii who give him enough motivation to clear it out and put their art on his walls, instead. On Oct. 4, Omer Kursat and a collection of found photographs from the 1940s will be on view, along with a book he published about his discovery; On Nov. 2, Brooke Dombroski and her soul sisters of ROAM Hawaii will drive their ice cream truck-turned clothing brand down from Haleiwa, along with Dombroksi’s photography and other inspirations to the space for their official business launch and art show; and board shapers/apparel designers the Woolley Brothers will finish up the year with a show that features their boards, board art, paintings and apparel on Dec. 7.
Pronounced “two-eyes”, the letters stand for Indigenous Intelligence. The fact that they’re in Kaka’ako, with all that redevelopment looming in their future like a stormy front of progress blowing in, is no reason to count them out. They’ve booked the space until they have to move out with a calendar thick with shows and pop-up shops.
Set in Paradise
Living in Hawaii isn’t all beaches and hibiscus flowers.
Set in Paradise unites 11 artists of various disciplines–Drew Broderick, Kaili Chun, Peter Shepard Cole, Trisha Lagaso Goldberg, John Koga, Kapulani Landgraf, Meleanna Meyer, Carl F. K. Pao, Joe Rohde, Lawrence Seward and Jerry Vasconcellos–that attempt not to answer, but to stare into the amorphous boundaries of a canvas and ask: “What is critically engaged art of Hawaii?”
The “100 percent hapa” works will speak for themselves from a multitude of angles to create a truly authentic whole that all cultural identities can relate.
Set in Paradise looks to get under the sand of this not-so-simple place we call home.
Sergio Garzón: Woodcuts
Huge woodblock prints cover the fresh walls of Kaimuki’s newest art space, Allan Jim’s Ektopia (Greek for ‘out of place’) on Waialae Avenue. Columbian Sergio Garzón is a resident of the artists’ lofts in Chinatown and the organizer of Print Big!, the event at the Honolulu Museum of Art School in August that had people use a steamroller to make enormous prints. His art, on view here through Oct. 6, features two versions of each print, along with the original woodblock, each eight feet tall, allowing the viewer to see a small glimpse of Garzón process.
Last Tagami & Powell Art Show
Hiroshi Tagami is retiring to Hawaii Kai, so his life- and business partner Michael Powell has organized a show that celebrates their long career together. Original oil paintings by Tagami and Powell will be on view and for sale, as will be art from Scott Sullivan, Robert Butts, Babs Miyano Young, Lois Tselentis and Kenny Kicklighter.
7th Annual Celebration of the Arts at Luxury Row: Hawaii’s Modern Masters
A bunch of Waikiki’s fanciest stores get together each year to showcase some of Hawaii’s best in contemporary art, and whereas they were sure to mention names like Tiffany & Co., Coach, Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci in their press release, they neglected to list any of the actual artists. But, if it’s anything like last year, it’s sure to be a strong show.