The first Maui Open Studios is scheduled for the first three weekends of February 2011. It follows a model that has been very successful on the Mainland for decades, where artists and artisans open up their studios and exhibition spaces to show and sell their work to the public, as well as talk story, connect with and inspire visitors. The entire event is free to the public.
The event is produced and organized by Carolyn Quan, an acclaimed fine art photo collage artist and former art gallery owner on Maui and Oahu.
She is now based in the San Francisco Bay Area after living in Hawaii for nine years. She remains connected to the islands and the art community here.
“When I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Hawaii and began to do research into art shows and ways of exposing my own artwork to the public, I learned about the myriad of open studio events that take place in California and other art-loving states on the Mainland,” she said.
“I realized that it was time for Hawaii to have such an event. It is a concept that has been around for almost 40 years on the Mainland, and it is a wonderful way for artists and artisans to connect with art buyers, collectors and art and craft enthusiasts.”
The Maui Open Studios event will begin with an Opening Celebration/Preview Exhibition on Friday, Feb. 4, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.
Art studio self-guided tours begin on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 5 and 6, for West and South Maui; Feb. 12 and 13 for North, Central and Upcountry Maui; and Feb. 19 and 20 for Hana and East Maui. The hours for the Open Studios are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day of each weekend.
The event spans over three weekends to allow the public time to enjoy as many studios as possible and gives tourists an opportunity to catch at least one weekend event during their visit to Maui.
The official 2011 Art Gallery Sponsor, Gallery Oceanica, will also host an exhibition of a number of Maui Open Studio artists for the duration of the event at their Front Street location in Lahaina.
The Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center in Makawao will participate in the event and host demonstrations in their printmaking, jewelry and ceramics studios on Feb. 12-13, as well as host several other artists’ open studios.
There are over 100 artists and artisans registered for the inaugural event who work in a variety of mediums, including glass, silk painting, digital art, basket weaving, photography, jewelry design, bronze sculpture, mixed media, ceramics, plein air painting, stone carving, printmaking and much more. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of art and craft selections as they customize their studio tours.
The public can learn about the participating artists and artisans by visiting www.MauiOpenStudios.com.
“I have no doubt that this event will significantly add to the already vibrant and stimulating arts community on Maui. There is so much diverse talent on the island. And since this is an annual event, it will attract more art lovers and art collectors to the island year after year and perhaps even be the focus of visitors’ trips to the island, whether inter-island, domestic or international,” Quan said.
“This event will allow artists to connect with their art buyers more personally, giving locals and tourists alike a unique experience and opportunity to learn about the artists’ techniques and about the artists themselves, as well as to purchase art directly from them. The Maui Open Studios event is also a way of helping artists gain vital exposure to the public year after year in a fun, exciting and creative way.”
“It’s a chance for the art community to come together and show the world what we’ve got and what we’re all about,” said Maui Open Studios producer Carolyn Quan.