The second annual Maui Open Studios Event this month will feature more than 100 artists and artisans at 80-plus venues island-wide.
It follows a model that has been very successful on the Mainland for decades: artists and artisans open up their studios and exhibition spaces to show and sell their work to the public, "talk story," connect with and inspire visitors. Many artists also give live demonstrations of their process and techniques.
The entire event is free to the public. The inaugural affair in 2011 was a big success with 111 participating artists and more than 6,000 individual studio visits by art collectors and enthusiasts.
Wood artist Jim Meekhof turns a new art piece on the lathe in his art studio. Watch him at work in the 2012 Maui Open Studios Event.
The second annual Maui Open Studios Event is scheduled for all four weekends of February. The 2012 artist roster includes painters, furniture designers, glass artists, ceramicists, stone carvers, photographers, feather artists, wood carvers, sculptors, print makers, jewelry designers and watercolorists.
Featuring no-host pupus and a cash bar, the Opening Celebration/Preview Exhibition is set for Saturday, Feb. 4, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.
Visitors are invited to meet many of the participating artists at the opening celebration, listen to live music, preview one or two pieces of the artists' work and pick up a copy of the Maui Open Studios Guidebook, which contains an artist directory and maps to different studios and exhibition spaces around the island.
The event's first weekend will feature West, Central and South Maui artists on Feb. 11-12 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit www.mauiopenstudios.com for the full schedule.
Guidebooks will be available throughout the duration of the event at various retail pickup locations around the island, including Gallery Oceanica on Front Street, all four Maui Hands locations and the Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center.
Visitors then design their own self-guided tours based on the artists and work that most interests them.
The event is produced and organized by acclaimed fine art photo collage artist (and former art gallery owner on Maui and Oahu) Carolyn Quan.
Now based in the San Francisco Bay Area after living in Hawaii for nine years, Quan remains connected to the islands and the Hawaii art community.
"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. It's a chance for the art community to come together and show the world what we've got here on Maui and what we're all about!"