Let’s Get Visual
Spring Arts Visual Arts / Spring Arts Visual Arts
Galleries and museum walls will exhibit concepts from visiting artists (Phoebe Cummings), as well as our own, some of whom have earned a piping hot and fresh art degree (UH’s 35th Annual Graduate Exhibition). Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams show up, as do local guys Mike Keany and Adam Funari, and humor is the nail that hangs Thurston Twigg-Smith’s collection of contemporary art (Serious Fun) that will force your tongue into your cheek.
Ansel Adams: The Hawaii Pictures
Georgia O’Keeffe, rooted in the American Southwest; Ansel Adams, synonymous with Yosemite. For a time, however, these two masters left the subject matter of their familiar territories behind in order to explore our native landscape.
The exhibition features Hawaii-specific works from these art icons, all originally conceived during commissions some 50 to 70 years ago: paintings created during O’Keeffe’s trip here on behalf of the Dole Company in 1939, shown with Adams’s photographs taken while he was here documenting national parks for the Department of the Interior in 1948 and First Hawaiian Bank in 1957.
The result is a pan-Pacific bridge between the American continent and our Islands that show each artist strive to capture Hawaii’s natural essence.
There’s beauty to be found in numbers, so much, in fact, this exhibit might leave you scratching your head towards a masterpiece. Integers drive the five smaller exhibits found within Finding X, where you’ll see that math and art aren’t mutually exclusive.
For instance, you’ll discover, through the giddy binary code-inspired patterns of a Filipino Tinguian shaman blanket in Textile 1010101, how math and art are intertwined, literally. Or, deconstruct the geometry of Piet Mondrian, Josef Albers and more with The Shape of Things, where triangles, squares and circles form the basis of every piece. Dive further into infinity as To no end/Show your work displays a workspace gallery that documents what happens when the University of Hawaii’s math and art departments attempt, well, everything.
Beauty doesn’t necessarily have a formula, but mathematics, whether intentional or by chance, is a unifying aspect to this show’s aesthetic core. QED.
Like the title proclaims, its subject matter is a collection of 200 friends, but at its center is a “creative collaboration” between just two: artist Adam Funari and photographer Michael Keany.
Over six months, Keany shot black-and-white studio portraits capturing the diverse “solemn, jokey, come-hither” personalities of what’s ultimately Chinatown’s arts scene. Funari then created monotype prints of each to be shown side by side.
In what should feel like a family gathering, a Venn Diagram of Chinatown’s Social Circles, 200 Friends is “mostly people who are important to us or who we admire,” explains Keany. “The end result really became basically a snapshot of Chinatown during the second half of 2011. There are people who have since moved away, or changed their hair, or whatever. Many others are still in Chinatown, playing music, making art.”
Honolulu Printmakers Annual Exhibition: 85
The Honolulu Printmakers turn the big 8-5 this year. Expect a big turnout at this year’s annual exhibition of printmakers from all across the 808 who’ve submitted their prints for the juried show.
This year’s juror and visiting artist is Hiroki Morinoue, a local-born artist residing in Kealakekua, known for applying both western and traditional Japanese printmaking techniques to his body of work.
Serious Fun: Thurston Twigg-Smith and Contemporary Art
In seriousness, they call him Thurston Twigg-Smith, but with a smile, they simply call him Twigg.
As a founder of The Contemporary Museum at Spalding House (which merged in 2011 with the Honolulu Academy of Arts), the enduring imprint Twigg has left on the local contemporary arts scene is displayed in part through his curious private collection of 2,000 works donated to the museum–a serious assortment where an artist’s spirit is more important than name recognition, where the joy of collecting isn’t just displayed in sheer quantity, but felt in spirit and in the genuine love of sharing art.
Through the UH Art Department’s stellar Intersections program, visiting artist Phoebe Cummings will develop a site-specific installation in the University of Hawaii at Manoa Art Gallery. The title: Cella. The materials: unfired clay.
Cummings is an artist with an intense, laborious process involving ceramics while simultaneously transposing an intensely fragile element to them. Her pieces give off an ephemeral air that feels both weeded from and rooted in nature. It’s sometimes difficult to discern whether a Cummings creation is collapsing in or rising from within, but it’s this beautiful conflict that organically draws the viewer in.
She has previously completed artist residencies in the U.K., U.S. and Greenland.
Lineage: A Family of Printmakers
In what reads like a family tree, this exhibit takes you through the enduring generational bonds–the resilient branches, if you will–of Hawaii’s printmaking society.
The 24 artists showcased represent the names of those who’ve made significant contributions to the prevalent printmaking practice passed down through time–from material to artist to gallery and now to you.
35th Annual Graduate Exhibition
A good way to take the temperature of Honolulu’s art scene and see where we’re headed is to see the comprehensive annual exhibition of graduate work that comes from the talent factory also known as the University of Hawaii Art & Art History Department each year. These artists have sharpened and refined their aesthetic for (in some cases) durations that makes Van Wilder look like a high school drop out.
This year’s strong roster of artists features Kerri Buxton, Jen Chua, Kyle Collins, Abi Good, Neilson Ishida, Kyle Jablonski, Jen Thario and Tom Walker.