This week, artists from Hawaiʻi and around the world have gathered in Wailuku to offer a voice to our ocean and freshwater resources by creating large-scale art installations parallel to the Wailuku River. Set for completion by weekend’s end, the project places emphasis on the importance of caring for water from Mauka to Makai (mountain to sea), as well as marine environmental topics relevant to Maui and the islands.
“My piece will be a celebration of the "Na Wai Eha" stream system. Using the textures of the landscape juxtaposed with a composition of Hawaiian patterns, it will reflect traditional concepts of the importance of the life-giving water that leads from the watershed down the ocean,” shares Cory Kamehanaokalā Taum, a Kānaka Maoli mural artist and cultural practitioner, “The idea is to give the viewer the "birds eye view" of the Wailuku valley and river, and the view of the textures of Kaehu bay. I believe in these impact times we must look from this view to realize and understand the effects of our actions and the importance of protecting what precious resources we still have before it is too late.”
SMALL TOWN * BIG ART provided supplies, airfare, artist honoraria, ground operations, meals, paint and videography to the Sea Walls: Mauka to Makai project, with other partners providing accommodations, ground transportation and additional meals, paint and supplies. Partners include Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (coordination and execution of a coastal cleanup event); Coral Reef Alliance (integration of their work in watershed restoration as a means for coral ecosystem conservation into mural themes); Hui O Wa'a Kaulua (shared insight into sustainable Hawaiian canoe building, wayfinding, and voyaging arts used by traditional Hawaiian Ancestors as part of our immersive artist excursions); H.P. Baldwin High School (youth outreach programming on H.P.B.H.S Campus during after-school hours in addition to an on-site mural being painted as part of the project); Pacific Whale Foundation (artist honoraria plus donation of whale watch excursions for the artists to provide insight into scientific background and findings on humpback whales); and Aloha Missions.
Scroll down for selected process shots & stay tuned for more!