Having recently relocated to Maui from Hawaiʻi Island, Behrle has been dreaming of new digital video installations inspired by the lost and remaining stained glass windows of the Islands’ spiritual centers.
Enter Wailuku’s St. Anthony’s Church, which has been rebuilt 4 times since 1848 - somewhat fitting for its patron saint, the founder of lost articles.
Two months into our search for a discernible image of a stained glass window from the Church before the last rebuild (1980), we released a call-out to the community asking for public submissions that might help the artist with his reimagining. Thanks to the modern magic of social media and Maui Time Weekly, dozens of photos followed, nearly none of which offered a clear outline of the glass shapes, stories or colors. Last week, we were finally able to connect with the St. Anthony’s ʻohana, who spent a great deal of time and effort bringing the Church’s history to light.
Stephen Kealoha and Father Roland are deeply kind individuals well rooted in history and believe that the best ways to live a spiritual life are to share their faith with others, work with the poor, and educate and nourish the mind, the body, and the soul. When asked how the Church is rooted in Wailuku history, Father Roland responds, “the sugar plantation and the church go hand in hand. This is why you see all sorts of churches in Wailuku.”
Stephen and Father Roland were both surprised by the artists’ interest and excited about the idea of collaborating with SMALL TOWN * BIG ART on this creative placemaking project. As described by Inside Philanthropy, “places are not only geographic locations. They are diverse communities whose unique existence depends on both history and culture. The people that live in these neighborhoods know this better than anyone. It is up to placemakers to hear what they have to say.”
A big mahalo to all of the community members that have contributed to this SMALL TOWN * BIG ART installation, and mahalo to Andy Behrle for being so well equipped to hear what they have to say.
We’ll see you at the unveiling on Friday, August 2.