Check back for regular updates regarding our 2019-2020 artist lineup!
Ben Volta (b. 1979 in Abington, PA) creates intricate public murals and sculptures, working within the fields of education, restorative justice, and urban planning. His practice stands on the belief that art can be a catalyst for change, within individuals as well as the institutional structures that surround them. Ben is a 2015 Pew Fellow. He earned his certificate in sculpture from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2002 and his BFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005, during which he completed extensive graduate coursework in art history and design. After finishing his academic studies, Ben began working with teachers and students in Philadelphia public schools to create participatory art rooted in an exploratory and educational process. For the past 14 years, he has been developing this collaborative process in partnership with public schools, art organizations, and communities. He has received funding to work in more than 40 schools on hundreds of projects, which have focused on skills alignments and the integration of art with math, science, and reading. The National Academy of Sciences has recognized his work in several publications and has placed 20 works on permanent display at the Keck Center in Washington, D.C. As a young artist, and for over 20 years, Ben was a member of the groundbreaking art collective Tim Rollins and K.O.S. in New York City.
February + April 2020
Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA)
Founded in 1974, Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) is a nonprofit educational performing arts organization serving 22,000 people of all ages, races and economic backgrounds each year. Originally called Maui Youth Theatre, MAPA has grown over the past 45 years into one of Hawaii's largest performing arts organizations. Governed by an active board of directors, MAPA is operated by a full-time staff of eight, 25 teaching artists, 4 professional actors/musicians and up to 40 temporary project-based production staff. MAPA also has an active volunteer corps of about 250 members who assist the organization.
To accomplish our mission of enriching individuals, building community and connecting our world through the performing arts, we offer a broad spectrum of programs in three areas: Academy Classes & Camps, School Partnerships and MAPA LIVE.
MAPA’s relationship to Wailuku runs deep. In 1998 MAPA purchased the old National Dollar Store building on Main Street to house our rapidly expanding academy programs and provide support spaces for our productions. In 2016 through a low-interest loan from the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Program, we purchased two more properties on Main Street directly across the street from our studio building with the dream of building a performance space of our own and contributing to the revitalization of Wailuku Town. Our newly acquired three-story building houses a food court with six restaurants as well as offices currently leased to a mix of county, state and nonprofit tenants including the Maui branch of Hawaii Technology Academy Charter School. We are excited to be in the process of developing an empty unit on the ground floor of 2050 Main Street into our new flexible-use black box theatre. As a founding member of the Wailuku Performing Arts Alliance, MAPA is proud to be a leader in the movement to create an arts and culture district in Wailuku.
Jessica Kay Bodner is an American artist Born in Chicago, Ill. Metal sculpture, installation art and light sculpture have been the focus of her career which spans over 25 years . Her award winning artwork has been commissioned for public, private and commercial projects nationally and internationally. Influenced by Nature, science and archeology, Jessicas work has been showcased in galleries, public exhibitions and outdoor installations. Woven steel vessel forms partially buried in the earth are reminiscent of archeological artifacts, a bygone era of humans and nature living in harmony. Her steel beehive light sculptures combine form and light to create texture and patterns on the surrounding surfaces as a double dimension of drawing. Suspended night sky inspired pieces float orbs of light on spiraling tube steel that seem to spin and move like cirrus clouds in the sky. Colorful outdoor freestanding sculptures inspired by ancient themes in nature blend with the grander and beauty inherent in outdoor native landscapes, from large nautilus forms to abstract gestures, metal is twisted and hewn to create woven thickets where light and shadow pass through creating an interplay between the natural backdrop, the changing seasons and direction of the sun. (JessicaKayBodner.com)
"Our mural team called E.H.A. (Endemic Hawaii Artist) is a group of 4 Maui artists capable of executing solo work; however as a team we demonstrate community, collaboration and camaraderie in a visual orchestra of cultural Hawai‘i imagery and ʻike. Our team consists of Kirk Kurokawa, Elmer Bio, Amanda Bowers and Noble Richardson. Our team would like to propose a participatory mural that focuses on education as well as deep cultural and emotional connection with our Wailuku community. We are thrilled that each topic is in reference to Kalo, our team feels the message of ‘A‘ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia is a topic of interest we would like to illustrate."
November - December 2019
Emmanuel Jarus is a Canadian-born artist and muralist inspired by the visual human experience. His work reimagines how art can exist in public spaces. For the past 8 years, Jarus has been working with communities across Canada and around the globe to produce large-scale portraits and figures among other images on wall surfaces. They can be found within major cities as well as across rural settings. He has had notable international recognition as a contemporary muralist and figurative painter. He studied briefly at the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto but attributes his knowledge of art to various influences including his grandmother, inspiration from graffiti, and resources found on the internet. The narrative Jarus depicts in his approach communicates a story of individual spirit relevant to the metabolism of that particular neighbourhood. A combination of acrylic, latex and aerosol paint is used to create representations of the people he’s inspired by along his travels. He enjoys painting in public space so that he can understand its context and express it through his work. MORE.
Over the past 15 years, Andy Behrle has been creating site-specific and site-responsive installations that reflect upon the cultural, geologic, and social histories of places where he has lived and visited. Since 2015, many of these projects have focused on the use of new media technologies and digital video projection to immerse viewers in worlds shaped by colors of light and textures of water. More recently, Behrle has used digital editing software to stitch together multiple video files to re-imagine stained glass windows of historic places and traditional fabric patterns. For all of these projects, he captures video footage of local water sources both naturally occurring and created by humanity to investigate global systems through regional water use issues.
Born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Behrle has chased professional aspirations, personal growth, and creative inspirations around the country before settling in Hawai’i in 2018. Receiving his BA in Philosophy & Religion and Studio Art from Elmira College (New York), Behrle quickly associated the language of objects with existential thoughts and set upon exploring the invisible realities of our universe through his artwork. Taking this avenue of inquiry to Arizona State University, he soon embraced the creation of time-based installations with his MFA thesis exhibition. A few years removed from the studio, Behrle’s art practice was reignited in Birmingham, Alabama where the cultural and geologic histories of the South inspired new large-scale works. After relocating to the Pacific Northwest in 2012, Behrle began creating experiential installations with light and digital technologies. While living and working in the Yakima, Washington area, Behrle opened a dozen solo exhibitions and was awarded numerous grants and residencies. In 2018, Behrle broke onto the international light art scene while creating video installations for festivals in Germany and Tunisia. He now resides in Hawai'i with his wife and son.
For Leilehua Yuen, telling and teaching stories is an all-consuming passion which takes many forms. Her style is rooted in tradition, but often incorporates cutting edge technology; having performed solos as well as planetarium shows in which her watercolor paintings grew around her and over her head as she spoke. Nearly 30 years ago, she coined the term "edutainment" to describe what she does - educate while entertaining.
Her credits include live variety format Hawaiian culture stage shows in Hilo's historic Palace Theater, monthly Hawaiian culture presentations at Mauna Kea's Visitor Information Station, hula “informances” for Volcano Art Center at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and Hilo’s Lei Day program.
Leilehua spends much time researching the stories, legends and myths of Hawai‘i, many of which she learned originally from her kūpuna. She also uses her vast collection of books and clippings, online sites, and she delves into archives, such as the old Hawaiian newspapers now searchable online through the Bishop Museum and other sources. What has made the research especially rewarding and exciting for her is being able to bring forgotten stories to life and finding the missing pieces of incomplete stories she learned long ago.
A student of the legendary Aunty Nona Beamer, Leilehua notes that she was learning all the time, because Aunty Nona never wasted a minute. She was constantly teaching and took advantage of opportunities: waiting in an airport lounge, for example, was never down time, it was practice time.
Today, Leilehua continues the same "never waste a moment" esthetic with her own students, using every possible moment to learn and teach.
PangeaSeed is an international collective of artists and activists whose mission is to harnesses the power of art, science, and creativity to generate awareness and effect positive change surrounding global ocean environmental issues. Their February 2019 “Mauka to Makai" proposal to SMALL TOWN * BIG ART brought together 19 artists from around the world to address some of today's most pressing issues affecting our marine and freshwater resources through large-scale, purpose-driven public art.
Lauren Brevner | Joey Rose & Alex Underwood | Gregg Kaplan | Kai Kaulukukui | Dulk | Cory Kamehanaokalā | E.H.A. | Mary Iverson | Ben Johnston | Wooden Wave | BirdO | Gavin Murai | Getso | Cracked Ink | Poi