PangeaSeed Foundation is an international non-profit organization “acting at the intersection of culture and environmentalism to further the conservation of our oceans.” Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans is a public art program of PangeaSeed Foundation that has created 300 murals in 14 countries with a roster of more than 250 professional artists. The upcoming project will be adding Maui artists to the international consortium.
Discussions with PangeaSeed began over the summer as the County of Maui presented its Small Town, Big Art pilot program for grant consideration by the National Endowment for the Arts. Small Town, Big Art aims to position the arts as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization in Wailuku.
PangeaSeed Foundation Founder & Executive Director Tré Packard remarks, "We have hosted Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans projects in 14 countries and are very excited to be hosting our first large-scale Hawaii-based Sea Walls activation on the beautiful island of Maui in partnership with Maui County's Office of Economic Development and Small Town, Big Art program. By taking the oceans into the streets via public art, we aim to inspire communities across the globe to become aware of and proactive about what is happening to our oceans.”
“We were lucky to cross paths with the Sea Walls team during the research phase of our new Wailuku Town pilot public art program, Small Town, Big Art - which launches later this year,” remarks Small Town, Big Art Project Coordinator Kelly McHugh, “In welcoming PangeaSeed artists to Maui, we encouraged them to work with Wailuku communities to focus their stories on issues extending from the ocean to more of a Mauka to Makai connection; recognized and given remarkable reflection through our forthcoming collaboration with Hale Ho'ike'ike at The Bailey House Museum/ Maui Historical Society.”
Kay Fukumoto, Office of Economic Development Director shares, “By sponsoring Sea Walls: Maui, through our Environmental Program, our goal is to examine the ways in which artists and communities can come together to bring awareness about environmental protection. From Mauna Kahalawai, to Main Street to Rivermouth, our actions impact the native ecosystems and watersheds.”
Erin Wade, Maui Redevelopment Program Planner and Director of Small Town, Big Art offered, “PangeaSeed does outstanding work through its public art program, bringing messages of conservation into streets around the globe. Our goal is to learn from their very seasoned team of artists and collaborators and incorporate any challenges and successes into the forthcoming implementation of Small Town, Big Art."
Packard continues, "Wailuku is a place imbued with rich history and with Maui being home to such a unique marine environment deserving of protection, we look forward to enriching Wailuku's urban landscape by further beautifying the town and creating a real sense of pride and community ownership.”
The Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans artists Lauren Brevner, Joey Rose & Alex Underwood, Gregg Kaplan, Kai Kaulukukui, Dulk, Cory Kamehanaokalā, Noble & Elmer, Mary Iverson, Ben Johnston, Wooden Wave, BirdO, Gavin Murai, Getso and Cracked Ink will be on Maui for 10 days (January 26 – February 4) to complete murals at 4 sites within the Wailuku Redevelopment Area as well as several other sites that have been sponsored by local businesses and organizations. Stay tuned for upcoming activities including opening and closing events, youth engagement opportunities, a beach cleanup, ocean cruise, planting and more with the artists.
A Call-to-Artists for the Small Town, Big Art pilot program will be distributed online this month, with its first round of artists selected in February. The selected artist(s) will be commissioned to present an innovative work of public art that aligns with 'Ōlelo No'eau pre-selected by Hale Hō'ikeʻike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society and addresses the Town of Wailuku’s distinctive sense of place, history and/ or culture. Visit smalltownbig.org for details.