WELCOME TO HAWAII
HOME TO THE WORLD’S MOST ACTIVE VOLCANOES, THE ONLY ROYAL PALACE IN THE U.S. AND THE WELCOMING ALOHA SPIRIT - HAWAII IS LIKE NO PLACE ON EARTH.
The diverse culture of Hawaii is expressed in (among other things) language, music, art, theater, dance, film, cuisine and a multitude of festivals.
At the core of each is the spirit of aloha, in the fluid arc of a hula dancer’s hands or in the soft rhythm of a slack-key guitar.
The "Aloha Spirit" is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self.
Each person must think and emote good feelings to others.
In the deepest contemplation and presence of life force.
Observe the work of Hawaii’s artists and you’ll see and feel the poetry of the Islands expressed in color, light, and shadow – painted, printed, sculpted, etched, photographed, and filmed.
Likewise, artisans and craftspeople, create masterpieces that are both timeless and timely – every one infused with the generous spirit of aloha that’s as much a part of our nature as the sun itself. The art experience – and the products of that experience – varies from island to island.
The lush, natural landscape of Kauai inspires painting and crafts that are as sophisticated as they are direct. Painters, sculptors, and crafts-people thrive on Maui where the whaler’s art of carving on ivory is still quite popular. Oahu’s art scene is both steeped in tradition and wildly contemporary. And it shouldn't surprise you that creativity on Hawaii, the Big Island, can be fiery indeed. Best of all, no matter where you go in the islands, you’ll find that artists are just as accessible as the art they create.
Hawaii has more than its share of museums, celebrating everything from Hawaii’s history and culture to its contemporary art.
The Bishop Museum on Oahu is the largest museum in Hawaii dedicated to studying and preserving the state’s history and is also considered the premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific.
At the Lahaina Heritage Museum, visitors can literally feel the historical and cultural, vitality of Maui’s legendary whaling town.
And at the Kauai Museum, it’s possible to view galleries showcasing the work of multi-cultural artists, sculptors and craftsmen as well as learn about the geological formation of the Hawaiian Islands, early Native Hawaiian life, and the Hawaiian Monarchy.
On the other side of the spectrum, come be inspired at the Honolulu Museum of Art overlooking Honolulu which has an awesome display of cutting- edge paintings and sculpture, as well as art from many different genres and eras. This museum featured the largest collection of fine art in Hawaii.
ISLANDS & MUSUEUMS - Looking for art in Hawaii?
There are few better ways to understand a destination than 'Museum-ing' your way through it. Hawaii is no different. The diversity of art and artifacts found on the Islands today is the result of multiple origins – among them, the indigenous Hawaiian culture, dozens of multicultural influences, and modern-day collections from around the world.
We’ve selected several intriguing places to visit to explore Hawaii’s vast and ethnically diverse art and culture.
Honolulu Museum of Art
Honolulu's culture hub on three historic properties. One of the world’s premier art museums, the Honolulu Museum of Art presents international caliber special exhibitions and features a collection that includes Hokusai, van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso and Warhol, as well as traditional Asian and Hawaiian art...and it is located in two of Honolulu’s most beautiful buildings.
Lyman Mission Museum
This Smithsonian-affiliated Museum tells the story of Hawaii’s islands and people. Exhibits trace Hawaii’s history from its volcanic origins and the flora and fauna that arrived before humans to life in ancient Hawaii and the immigrant groups that helped shape Hawaii’s unique culture. Located in historic downtown Hilo, the Lyman Museum and Mission House tells the story of Hawaii. Built in 1839, the Lyman Mission House is the oldest wood frame building on the Big Island.
Mike Carroll Gallery
Lana'i artist Mike Carroll and his wife, Kathy, transformed a vintage building into a gallery that has been called a "jewel of the Islands". Nestled in the lush heart of unspoiled Lana`i, discover this gallery of paradise- inspired pieces by award-wining artist Mike and his guest artists. You'll find paintings, prints, woodwork, photography, jewelry, Asian antiques, and more!
Hawaii's museum of natural and cultural history. Originally built to house the extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the Museum has since expanded to include millions of artifacts, documents and photos about Hawaii and other Pacific cultures.
Moana Glass by Ryan Staub
Moana Glass is Maui's premier glassblowing studio and gallery. Moana Glass is a Must See on Maui. Staub’s cutting-edge design and vast experience in glassblowing are apparent in all of the work in the gallery. Moana Glass ensures that everyone has a BLAST and takes home a piece they LOVE!
Michal Art Studio & Boutique of Hanalei
An inspiring artist who is rising to global prominence. Michal captures the vibrant essence of the Islands in every item she creates with a unique and all original style.
With crystal clear imagery and pure talent, she transforms the islands' varied complexion of rich hues into living color on canvas, then translates her designs onto fabulous swimwear, silky pareos, lush beach towels, and more. Though her love of painting is priority-an expression of her very soul- incorporating fashion and home designs has been a welcome addition to Michal’s line of favorites.
Hawaii State Art Museum
The Hawaii State Art Museum (HiSAM) features works of art primarily by artists with a connection to Hawaii and exhibits on topics of interest to communities in the state. As a venue for the Art in Public Places Program of the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the Hawaii State Art Museum (HiSAM) provides a home for artists from the Islands.
Wyland Galleries Waikiki
Since 1978, Wyland Galleries has been the art community’s pre-eminent showcase for the finest in marine life paintings, sculpture and photography.
The Waipa Foundation
Waipa Foundation manages the scenic Waipa Ahupua'a, found along Kauai's north shore, as a cultural & community center. Waipa grows and distributes food, educates and inspires community youth and families, hosts a weekly market plus seasonal festivals, and offers transformative eco-cultural programs.
The Kauai Museum is the cultural Sanctuary for the art and artifacts of Native Hawaiians and it nurtures the creative spirit of today's artists. The Museum focuses on developing and preserving outstanding collections which reflect the heritage and artistic achievements of the indigenous and immigrant peoples; while also providing an opportunity for contemporary artist to exhibit their creations which may be the artifact of tomorrow.
KING KAMEHAMEHA I - THE STORY BEHIND THE STATUES
A great warrior, diplomat and leader, King Kamehameha I united the Hawaiian Islands into one royal kingdom in 1810 after years of conflict.
Kamehameha I was destined for greatness from birth. Hawaiian legend prophesized that a light in the sky with feathers like a bird would signal the birth of a great chief. Historians believe Kamehameha was born in 1758, the year Halley’s comet passed over Hawaii.
Given the birth name Paiea, the future king was hidden from warring clans in secluded Waipio Valley after birth. After the death threat passed, Paiea came out of hiding and was renamed Kamehameha (The Lonely One).
Kamehameha was trained as a warrior and his legendary strength was proven when he overturned the Naha Stone,
which reportedly weighed between 2.5 and 3.5 tons.
You can still see the Naha Stone today in Hilo.
During this time, warfare between chiefs throughout the islands was widespread. In 1778, Captain James Cook arrived in Hawaii, dovetailing with Kamehameha’s ambitions. With the help of western weapons and advisors, Kamehameha won fierce battles at lao Valley in Maui and the Nuuanu Pali on Oahu. The fortress-like Puukohola Heiau on the island of Hawaii was built in 1790 prophesizing Kamehameha’s conquest.
Kamehameha’s unification of Hawaii was significant not only because it was an incredible feat, but also because under separate rule, the Islands may have been torn apart by competing western interests. Today, four commissioned statues stand to honor King Kamehameha’s memory. Every June 11th, on Kamehameha Day, each of these statues are ceremoniously draped with flower lei to celebrate Hawaii’s greatest king.
Downtown Honolulu, Oahu
The most recognized Kamehameha statue stands in front of Aliiolani Hale (the judiciary building) across from lolani Palace and a short walk from the eclectic art galleries and restaurants of Chinatown. Dedicated in 1883, this was actually the second statue created after the ship delivering the original statue from Europe was lost at sea.
Kohala, Island of Hawaii
The original statue was miraculously recovered and in 1912, the restored statue was installed near Kamehameha’s birthplace at Kapaau on the island of Hawaii.
National Statuary Hall, Washington D.C
In 1969, the third Kamehameha statue was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall where statues of historic figures from all 50 states are on display. A statue of Molokai’s Saint Damien joins the Kamehameha I statue in this amazing collection of art.
Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Hilo was Kamehameha’s first seat of government and this statue, dedicated in 1997 at Wailoa State Park, is the tallest of the four statues at fourteen feet. Hilo is also home to the Naha Stone, which a young Kamehameha 'overturned in a feat of incredible strength'.
THE SPIRIT OF ALOHA
Hawaii’s traditions are as diverse as its people.
Rooted in Native Hawaiian culture that has been passed down through generations mixed with the traditions of the peoples from all around the world who have made Hawaii home.
Whether it’s a unique natural wonder, a National Historic Site, Park or Monument, or a sacred place that encapsulates Native Hawaiian customs, beliefs and practices, our Heritage sites will help you gain a deeper understanding of Hawaii.
STAY AT The Royal Hawaiian HONOLULU.
Each of the 528 rooms and suites at our beachfront luxury resort on Oahu encapsulates extraordinary experiences, effortlessly weaving modern comfort, indigenous accents and refined luxury.
For the chefs of The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, exceptional preparation and exquisite presentation is paramount, demanding attention and commitment of the highest level. Every meal is an occasion to remember.
The hotel offers valet parking service, doctors-on-call, florist, currency exchange service, concierge service, laundry and dry cleaning, wireless internet access in rooms and all public areas, multi-lingual staff, 24-hour room service, and beach and pool services.
"MY HONOLULU" - ALLIE BLEU
ALLIE IS AN ARTIST BASED IN HAWAII
Best area for art?
I think Downtown Honolulu is the place to go because it is packed with exciting art galleries, events, and museums.
Best areas for food?
I personally like going to Kaimuki for food because there's good Poke places around and other types of local foods to try. Monsarrat Avenue in Kaimuki also has a good variety of cafes as well, and I would recommend trying the acai bowls and plate lunches if you go there.
Best area for a unique night time experience?
Downtown has a lot of unique bars to go to and they also have this event called first Friday, which is held on the first Friday of every month and it's basically a block party but it's pretty cool because they usually host art events.
Best area for shopping?
There's always Ala Moana but if you're looking for something different and new, I like going to Salt or sometimes South Shore Market in Kaka’ako. Salt has this cool camera store called Treehouse, and I definitely recommend going there if you're interested in photography.
Where to find the best views?
If it's your first time here then you have to check out Diamond Head. The hike is relatively easy and the view of Waikiki from the top is phenomenal. I also recommend driving around Tantalas as well. I'm not sure exactly where it was around Tantalus, but there is a place where you can see the valleys and it's beautiful. But honestly, I think you have to go outside of Honolulu for the best views if you're here on Oahu.
Visit Allie Bleu's website: www.alicobleu.com
Read Allie Bleu's interview in DESTIG Top Artists
DON SLOCUM - RENOWNED NATURE PHOTOGRAPHER
Don Slocum is a professional photographer living on Hawai'i Island, which he has called home for nearly thirty years.
Originally from Ann Arbor, MI. he moved to Hawai'i and continued to develop his photography skills, much of which he learned on his own coupled with some formal training and also guidance from various local artists.
“It’s been great living in a supportive photographic community like the one that exists on Hawai'i Island,” Don explains.
Visit Don Slocum's website: www.donslocum.com
Read Don Slocum's Interview in DESTIG Top Artists
JONATHAN SWANZ - INTERNATIONAL GLASS ARTIST
Jonathan has been crafting art for nearly 20 years developing facility in a variety of media with a focused refinement in the glass techniques of blowing, casting, carving, and sculpting. He has worked with exceptional artists across Europe and the US, including Paris, Venice, Copenhagen, New York, Seattle, and Chicago.
He has completed extensive commercial and residential architectural commissions in Cincinnati, OH, Indianapolis, IN, Louisville, KY, Honoulu, HI and New York, NY, and has pieces in the permanent collections of 21C Museum and Hilliard Lyons of Louisville, KY, the Headley Whitney Museum of Lexington, KY, The Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and Park Lane of Honolulu, and PNC Bank of New York, NY.
Jonathan is currently is a part-time faculty member at the University of Hawaii, Manoa where he is exploring parallels in the energetic and social nature of materials and humans by investigating state change and energy transfer through the manipulation of molten glass, digital media, performance, and architectural installations.
Read Jonathan Swanz's Interview in DESTIG Top Artists