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Renowned Hawaiʻi fiber artist named to national fellowship

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Anne Lipscomb
/
HPR
Marques Hanalei Marzan

Renowned fiber artist Marques Hanalei Marzan was recently named to a national fellowship.

He is the only person from Hawaiʻi selected as a 2023 United States Artists fellow. The national arts organization awarded 45 artists with $50,000 grants.

Marzan has been a cultural practitioner for more than 20 years, using a variety of fibers and weaving techniques.

"Ever since I was a little child, I loved looking at the hats and products that my great grandmother wove. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to meet her while she was alive. And none of my family actually learned from her," he said.

"So when I was able to take a workshop when I was in high school, I was super happy to be able to reconnect with a practice that was part of my family for generations."

He said the grant money will help to fund several projects. They include creating garments incorporating different fibers for his kumu hula and hālau, as well as exhibitions and travel expenses.

“I really enjoy the idea of making sure that these practices have a way to connect with our future generations. So being able to provide that opportunity and space… that’s really kind of my hope," he said.

"And because a lot of the practices that I love to work with don’t have a lot of living teachers today that can kind of guide students… it also is an honor for me to do this.”

Jayna Omaye was a culture and arts reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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