Two important exhibits are available for Maui art lovers this week--Art Maui and The Art of Trash.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary, Art Maui, the island's largest juried exhibition, opened on Monday, April 15, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's (MACC) Schaefer International Gallery. University of Hawai'i Professor Emeritus Ron Kowalke is the juror this year.
Kowalke joined the faculty of the drawing and painting program in 1969 after teaching at the Swain School of Design in Massachusetts and at Northern Illinois University.
“Keeping it Together” by Christine Turnbull is the publicity image for Art Maui 2013. The artist wanted to create something that represented life’s modern challenges--information overwhelm, multi-tasking and the myriad of responsibilities we all face.
Kowalke's career includes participation in more than 100 solo and group shows. His work is exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boston Public Library, Library of Congress, Yale University Art Museum, Honolulu Academy of Art, Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and across Europe.
His painting, "Laser Buddha," is now being prepared for permanent exhibit in The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.
It's been 28 years since Kowalke juried an Art Maui. In 1985, he served as a juror along with Barbara Engle and Jennifer Hobaica. This year, from the 346 artists who registered 555 works, Kowalke selected 135 works by 123 artists. This year, there are 51 three-dimensional works, including 22 pieces of jewelry--more than I have seen in my 14 years covering this show. Despite efforts by the Art Maui board to adopt criteria to encourage installations, none made the cut.
The work ranges in size from Bill Stroud's "The Big Drum," a very large wood, leather and wire piece; M. Takemoto's sumi ink and wax paper work, which is nearly 8 feet by more than 3 feet; and Steve Turnbull's 8- by 4-foot koa wood sculpture to Christi Cafferata's diminutive two- by two-inch silver box.
Stroud created a big drum called "Ancestors' Pulse" for last year's Art of Trash that was one of the hits of the show.
On Friday, April 12, the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts had first dibs on the works for its collection. Each year, a representative selects work to be considered for purchase by the state, which is then made available to state offices and for exhibit at the State Art Museum in Honolulu.
According to Art Maui President Jefferson Stillwell, "They [foundation representatives] have said that the Maui exhibit is probably the best collection of artists in the entire state."
Again this year, Art Maui offers scholarships for Maui high school seniors who are pursuing careers in art. Kowalke also juried the student entries. The three winners of $2,000 scholarships will be on display in the MACC's Alexa Higashi Meeting Room from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 20.
There will also be a gallery walk-through with Kowalke on that day from 2 to 4 p.m.
On Saturday, April 6, a pledge purchase dinner was held. More than 20 patrons agreed to purchase at least one piece. A reception for all of the artists was held the next day.
Art Maui is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week (and some evenings) until May 12. For more information, visit www.artmaui.com.
The 13th Art of Trash exhibit will open on Friday, April 19, at Maui Mall with an awards ceremony hosted by juror and Art of Trash founder Ira Ono, as well as the annual fashion show in Maui Mall's Center Court featuring clothing created from detritus--from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
The show is sponsored by Community Work Day and SharingAloha Maui.
"As the juror of Art of Trash 2013, I will be looking for well-constructed pieces that make a personal statement about our fragile island environment," said Ono. "I hope to find pieces that stretch the imagination and address the concept of reuse and recycling."
The show seeks to raise the level of consciousness about the environment through demonstrating how artists can utilize trash and turn it into art.
Included in this year's show will be the three winners from the Chair-ish Maui Recycled Art Contest held Sunday, April 7, at Makawao Union Church.
Lisa Burke's "Funny Kine Chair" was the first-prize winner followed by Amy Mathis' "The Grey Havens" and Barbara LaMarca's "Izzy."
The Art of Trash continues through May 11. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
These shows offer Maui viewers the opportunity to see the best that Maui artists have to offer in two distinctive and unique exhibitions; two must-see shows.