Art and Flea Pops Up! at the Honolulu Museum School

Aug 25, 2016

The Chi Brand is a local street wear company that will be showing and selling its designs at Art and Flea Saturday, August 29, at the Honolulu Museum School. Jericho de Leon came up with the concept while attending Waipahu High's Business Academy. He and partner Jonathan Mar launched the brand the year they graduated, 2015.
Credit Jericho de Leon

 

One of Cheyne Gallarde's illustrations. See more at this Saturday's Art and Flea or online at Supercheyne.com.
Credit cheyne gallarde

   Art and Flea is an eclectic collection of local artisans and style makers who have generally shown their wares at trendy night events.  This Saturday, Art and Flea is coming to a venue you may find more convenient, the Honolulu Museum of Art School.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa previews what will be in store.

Experience Art and Flea at the Honolulu Museum of Art School this Saturday, August 27th, from 4-9PM.  

Live musical performances will be held by local band, Lucie & The Perfect Wave as well as Jabez Theodore, a local acoustic-rock singer and songwriter. DJ sets will be provided by KTUH and Secret Record Store.

There will be exhibits and workshops by Hawaii Comic Book Alliance, The Honolulu Printmakers, Paint Your Paradise by Danielle Groff, and much more. Photo Ops Hawaii will also set up a photo booth.

Art and Flea, a pop up urban market, has popped up in several different venues over its six year life span. Now the popular market is branching into new consituencies, at the Honolulu Museum of Art School August 27. In partner ship with The Green Room, Art and Flea will happen at the Waikiki Shell September 10th.
Credit Aly Ishikuni

  The event will take place at the HMAS located at 1111 Victoria St. on Saturday, August 27th from 4-9PM. There will be a $3 entrance fee, and a portion of proceeds will be donated to HMAS.

"People forget that things are handmade, you know?"

How could we possible remember?  When about every object we use or wear was made hundreds or thousands of times by machines?

“That’s why I think Art and Flea Is really great because they say in the rules, Do not bring to your table things that are mass produced. “

So says graphic artist, illustrator Cheyne Gallarde.

They want all hand made goods, that you made or your family made.  And so that’s what’s really great.  Then you also put a face to the product.”  Gallarde's illustrations draw on the work of Mary Blair, Roy Lichtenstein, and Hayao Miyazaki but 

Cheyne Gallarde, Heartbroken. Shades of Roy Lichtenstein and Mary Blair applied to local subject matter.
Credit cheyne gallarde

  with a definite local twist.  Gallarde, who has a book with Lee Cataluna coming out in the fall, will have prints, paintings and live custom caricatures for sale at Art and Flea.  “So if someone comes to my table and they want a pop art painting of themselves, I will do that while you wait!”  

This particular Art and Flea brings a new generation of makers right into a hotbed of teachers, nurses, attorneys, financiers, dentists, wait staff, state workers and others who all take classes seriously at the Honolulu Museum School.  Hawai‘i people are great fans, you know.  We like to support people like Jericho de Leon, 2015 Waipahu grad, he was in the business academy there when he dreamed up the Chi Brand and got it going with partner, Jonathan Mar.

“In Waipahu and ‘Ewa beach, dancing is a big thing.  There are so many dance studios over here.  Dance and hip hop was one strong thing that really inspired us.  What really pushed us was I guess the passion when we started to get into skating.  There’s so much passion in skateboarders.”

The Chi Brand sports hats and tees with simple graphic designs.

“Hawai‘i street culture, it’s very different.  The art you’ll see here, it’s a lot more colorful, organic, inspired by nature I guess.   L.A. or New York, there are things like that as well, but they’re more gritty, more edgy.  I’m not saying either one is better, but there is definitely a huge difference.”

De Leon says clean graphics and a message are what people are looking for.  Chi brand is all about identity and independence, says de Leon, who originally wanted to be a marketer for some big international brand.  Now, he and the crew in Chi Brand are in school to learn how to be a big company themselves.

Swim wear and beach accessories are plentiful at Art and Flea. Coverups, pareus, sun dresses, tees, and hats, are happily not mass produced. Localism has a streetwise edge here.
Credit Aly Ishikuni

  “It’s funny because we promote this brand to help everyone shape themselves into what they want to be.  But here it goes, this brand is actually helping us shape into who we should be.”  Asked what his greatest challenge is now, de Leon responds, “Honestly, it’s finding the confidence, I guess, and  remembering to light a fire underneath me, you know, because there’s no one that’s really going to push me. 

"My parents are supportive but they see it as like a hobby I guess.  It’s really just believing in myself.  Things happen that make me doubt what I’m doing, I think that’s the hardest part, because if you have the drive, if you have the passion, learning everything is easy.   Before I started this brand I didn’t know how to do graphic design, how to use all the applications.  Just because I had that drive, I learned to do all that by myself.  Now 90% of the designs come from me.”

In these products made by your neighbors. there’s a lot of hope and canny response to local needs.  Rosalyn Ardoin couldn’t see putting all those chemical sunscreens into her children’s bodies. 

Rosalyn Ardoin's Little Hands Hawai'i sunscreen products are made with zinc oxide, coconut oil, olive oil, raw shea butter, lavender, frankincense, myrrh, and vitamin E. It's SPF 35.
Credit Rosalyn Ardoin

“A lot of the sunscreens actually have a chemical reaction with your cells.  That’s where you start to have cell damage internally. “  For her sunscreen, Little Hands Hawai‘i, Ardoin developed a  zinc oxide mix with local beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, and other ingredients.

“Ours is not a chemical barrier, it’s a physical barrier, so it will turn you a little bit white, but at least you know where it’s at on your body and where to reapply.  That’s great for the kids because you can actually see that it’s working.”

SPF 35.  Beachcomber Designs and Once Again Succulents will be there at Art and Flea.  Jewelry, art, fashion, local bands, and DJ sets this Saturday at HMA School—bar’s open until 10.    

Hawai‘i’s cultural history shows incredible refinement of Pacific crafts in the hands of Hawaiians.  The love of hand work has continued, evidenced by the many craft fairs that  in legions of individuals who make things as well as undying affection for the many crafters who sell at fairs in communities across the state.  Now, a new generation is coining imagery and creating products that reflect contemporary esthetics.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on a chance to see examples a t a convenient venue this weekend.