Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Kahoʻolawe Mural Art Program

Some of the mural art program's youth participants
Earlier this year, the KIRC formed a collaboration with Kihei Charter School and Maui artists geared to engage the next generation in restoring, protecting and preserving Kahoʽolawe while also prompting a community dialogue about the importance of doing this work.

Student presents her ideas for the mural
Over the course of just two weeks, a group of 50+ participants aged 12 & 13 excitedly exchanged word associations, visual concepts and ideas taken from their Mālama Kahoʻolawe curriculum (available at http://kahoolawe.hawaii.gov/plans-policies-reports.shtml) in order to create a public mural to help teach others about Kahoʻolawe. Led by KIRC staff and artists Valentin Miró-Quesada + Jennifer Brown, main themes began to emerge as the students sharpened their messages about Kahoʻolawe into a mural blueprint. Together, and through many versions of their cohesive concept, (via drawings and individual oral presentations), a final image materialized. Within 3 days, the image was transferred to a 40-foot storage container being repurposed as part of a native plant nursery at the KIRC's Kihei Boat House property.

Prepping the container for student participation
"For the seventh and eighth graders at Kihei Charter School, this is an opportunity to work with real scientists, historians, and preservationists in the field, getting their hands dirty, and making meaningful connections between the things they learn in class and the world around them," states former school director Jen Fordyce, "For some of our kids, it is the best part of coming to school (and the kind of experience that will hopefully keep them from dropping out in the future)."

By learning to work together, contributing ideas and gradually incorporating parts of everyone's perception, participating youth significantly impacted the space, the community and the way those passing by the mural might consider Kahoʻolawe.

Students collaborate on mural vision
Today, just past the Kihei Boat Ramp, you can see their work of art which illustrates Kahoʻolawe volunteers requesting permission to serve Kanaloa (personified by the kino lau, or body form, of the heʻe, or octopus), with hoʻokupu of native plants - just as bid by protocol. 

The mural was unveiled at the KIRC's inaugural Mahinaʻai Night in May of 2015, an important part of the mural making process offering time for reflection. This Thursday, November 19, we invite you and your ʻohana to join us at our culminating Mahinaʻai Night event; the last in a series of 2015 events sponsored by the Maui County Product Enrichment Program (CPEP), to celebrate the Kahoʻolawe Mural Art Program. Together, let's ponder those same questions explored by these extraordinary young artists and make plans for continuing to share the spirit of Aloha Kahoʻolawe with our Maui community & beyond.

  • What do you see? How does it relate to Kahoʻolawe?
  • What effects can murals have on their environment and the people who see them?
  • How does the mural make you feel when you look at each part?
  • How does working together as a group instead of independently change the outcome?
  • What can you "say" with art and murals?
  • Where else do you find symbols that have a message to tell you?

Mahinaʻai Night is here! Please help us celebrate:
Thursday, November 19, 2015
5:30 - 7:30 PM | FREE
RSVP's Requested here or at 808.243.5020

NOTES: Park at the Kihei Boat Ramp and follow signs for the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) - just a short walk to the boat house site (2780 South Kihei Road). Flash lights and closed-toe footwear are strongly recommended as you will be walking on a mulch-lined path amongst kiawe. Because there are no ATM's on site, please bring cash or checks if you plan to purchase food, beverages or to make a contribution to the Kaho'olawe Rehabilitation Trust Fund.
Sample mural concepts
Mural concept
Revised mural concept
And revised again
Student vision
Student vision
Student vision
Day 1 of 3 days of mural install

Day 3 of mural install

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