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Though the ways in which we interact with one another have changed since March, the desire to create something together feels stronger than ever.
We are excited and grateful that mural artist Eric Okdeh is joining us from Philadelphia for a 3-week Wailuku residency, for which he applied in February 2019 during our national call-to-artists. Known locally as the artist behind the 2012 Nā Wai 'Ehā mural which was a collaboration between Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center, County of Maui and the Laila Twigg-Smith Art Fund of Hawaii Community Foundation, Okdeh is world-renowned for creating a framework for engagement that is central to the success of each project.
In order to help ensure that this large-scale work of art is representative of the neighborhood in which it will stand, a mural survey was sent to our subscribers and many conversations have followed via video conferencing. Thank you for sharing and for allowing us to deepen our Wailuku Town research. We have received many images and ideas and have spent many hours studying the archives of Hale Hōʻikeʻike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society - but we still have a long way to go!
Following are some excerpts and conversations that are currently being crafted into a visual tribute to the Wailuku arts:
- Hula and the arts related to the creation of the implements of hula. The pahu (great drum), ʻuli ʻuli (rattle), ipu heke (double gourd drum),pūniu (small knee drum),pahūpahū (bamboo pipe drum) and others. Hula itself with oli (chant) and mele (song) are intimately tied to the moʻoelo (stories, narrative) of Hawaiʻi. All these art forms are intimately tied to each other and the spirituality of the Hawaiian people.
- Immigration history, such a melting pot of people
- Something that truly engages the essence of Wailukuʻs Native Hawaiian cultural history and landscape.
- It should include prominent representations of kānaka maoli art, as well as artistic elements from the many immigrant communities that have contributed to what Hawaiʻi (and Wailuku) are today.
- Something forward looking, a young local artist as subject, doing her thing, propelling us into the future, modernity... already too many nods to tradition and the classic motifs of culture. What about the young people who will invent the culture, life, economy and vibe of the future???? Where connectivity, technology, global intimacy is something we are a part of. Not so remote and sealed in by geography and history.
- Cultural and spiritual experiences because Maui is the most spiritual island with the most mana.
- All the many cultures of Wailuku.
- Besides visualizations of performing, musical, cultural arts, how about some literary works/excerpts. Sometimes those written words will get people to stop to read them and will then also notice what's around them.
- Life on the streets creating its music and welcome
- Sense of place, celebration of the original Hawaiian history and its relevance in today
- Something perhaps not yet done by others but in alignment with the artist's love
- It should be done to show us all coming together as one it's all of us doing the same thing and that's living life and trying to find stuff we love and that's what brought me here was I found something I love and it's made my home maui hawaii
- Whatever the Aunties say. Kong fu movies, ma + pa shops + restaurants, all the galleries & artists that have cruised in + out
- Hawaiian warrior spirits from the Iao Valley in the streets of Wailuku mixed in with representations of recognizable Maui artists in WPA style of Coit Tower in San Francisco
- Too much to say, but music art and dance should be represented