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Art Sightings in Hilo and Surfing Hawai'i at the MACC

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa
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The Best of Aloha Shorts Tour offered a chance to pop in on fun art venues in Hilo and Kahului.  HPR’s Bill Dorman debriefed Noe Tanigawa on The Conversation.

Noe Tanigawa
Credit Noe Tanigawa
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Musa Hixson. Mixed media. In the Global Metaphysics of Abstraction exhibition at the East Hawaii Cultural Center February 2019.

Hilo is still that gracious woman.  Banyan Drive retains a sort of "out of time" feeling, and Suisan is still there at the end of the drive, out of the lunch special as usual.   One arcing turn, and head down any street—plenty parking, free parking.

It was the window that drew me to Paliku Surf Room, Sig Zane’s one year old surf shop.  He looks like a very happy guy there, and starts right in about how there are three Hilo’s.  Hilo Hanakahi is the area toward Keaukaha.  Hilo One is the “sand Hilo” and Hilo Paliku, of the “upright cliff,” east of Wailuku River.  Sig and his homies surf there at Paliku.

So, here we are in Hilo One, I headed uptown on Kal?kaua to the East Hawai‘i Cultural Center.

Michael Marshall is the enthusiastic volunteer Executive Director, part of a new Board that swept in about three years ago.  For more on how that board, led by Stephen Freedman (Id Space Gallery, Kurtistown and HiART Magazine), has expanded EHCC’s accomplishments and ambitions, see the related story below. 

Noe Tanigawa
Credit Noe Tanigawa
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Works by Ronald Walton, in the Global Metaphysics of Abstraction exhibition, February, 2019.

Suffice it to say, that Jackie Johnson, highly respected UH Hilo Theater professor, has been given the upstairs theatre space—they did Aristophanes’ Lysistrata last fall.  Carol Walker needed a home for her gamelan orchestra…now twenty people are practicing regularly.  There’s a little bit of grant writing going on, a café is in the works, and Mayumi Oda will show there in a couple of months.

Best of all, the loose organizational structure seems to be compatible with sustainability---at least so far.  The ways we find to accomplish tasks with aloha, will be a contribution to the world.

Mahalo Ken’s!!!  For once again proving you are masters at getting the orders up and out!  Paniolo breakfast to saimin to crab eggs benedict plus pancakes all around for twenty people, plus drinks, real fast!  The flight to Maui was a little too early.

Noe Tanigawa
Credit Noe Tanigawa
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Charlie Lyon. Pleasure Craft. Acrylic on fiberglass.

But I was glad to get to the Maui Arts and Cultural Center Surfing Hawai‘i show before it closed.  This show, curated by Gallery Director Neida Bangerter, is like a lively conversation on the topic.  Surfing history is well represented by classic boards on loan from the Bishop Museum.  These gigantic cruisers were up to 20 feet long, 150 pounds, with no skegs, or fins.  Also on view, the first hollow wooden surfboard, with its brass drain hole. 

The show includes underwater scenes by B/W photographer Wayne Levin, and tight, “in the curl” paintings by Peter Shepard Cole, a surfer/painter from O‘ahu’s North Shore.  Carol Bennet of Kaua‘I, offers vibrant new work commissioned for this show. 

Pete Cabrinha is a surfing legend.  He rode a 70-footer at Jaws on Maui’s north shore and snagged the Guinness Book of World Records title for the biggest wave ever ridden.   His mixed media pieces are a refreshing discovery in the Surfing Hawai‘i  show. 

Maui artist, Noble Richardson, is another discovery for me.  His hyper-realistic paintings on coconut fiber are both rough, and fine, and very dimensional.

Noe Tanigawa
Credit Noe Tanigawa
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Noble Richardson. Pohaku 2018. Oil on wood.
Noe Tanigawa
Credit Noe Tanigawa
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If you're on Maui on a Saturday, don't miss the Swap Meet! 7am to 1pm, on the Maui Community College campus across the MACC. These ceramics were made by Lee Oululani Plevney.

Noe Tanigawa covered art, culture and ideas for two decades at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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