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Maui Open Studios Event to feature more than 85 artists

By Staff | Jan 23, 2014

Printmaker James Powlan demonstrates his unique technique in his studio during the Maui Open Studios Event.

The annual Maui Open Studios Event is the first of its kind in the State of Hawaii. It was created four years ago by a former Maui artist who now resides in the San Francisco Bay area.

The fourth annual Maui Open Studios Event is scheduled for all four weekends of February 2014. 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” and inspire visitors through one-on-one interaction and, in some cases, live demonstrations.

The entire event is free to the public. This year will include a satellite event, “A Talk with Patricia Jennings,” author of “Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hawaii,” on Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center. It’s is a free event, but guests must register to mauiopenstudios@gmail.com.

The mission of MOS is to connect the art community with art-lovers on Maui. Since its inception, the event has featured over 85 artists every year and generated over 6,000 individual studio visits by art collectors and art enthusiasts each year.

Nearly $100,000 in art sales made directly between art collectors and artists have been generated by the event.

The event offers a great way for art-loving locals and tourists to experience unique opportunities to connect with local Maui artists.

Visitors are invited to join many of the artists at the Opening Celebration/Preview Exhibition on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu, where they can enjoy a cash bar and no-host pupus, listen to live music, preview a few pieces of the artists’ work, connect with the artists and pick up a copy of the MOS Guidebook, which contains an artist directory and maps directing them to different studios and exhibition spaces around the island.

Guidebooks are also available throughout the duration of the event at various locations around the island, which are listed on www.MauiOpenStudios.com.

Visitors then design their own self-guided tours for each weekend of the month, either by referring to their printed guidebook or the online artist directory at www.MauiOpenStudios.com.

Hours for the Weekend Open Studios are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The schedule is: Upcountry on Feb. 8-9; Central Maui, North Shore, Road to Hana and Hana on Feb. 15-16; and West and South Maui on Feb. 22-23.

The event is produced and organized by acclaimed fine art photo collage artist Carolyn Quan, a 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 serves 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,” Quan 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!”

The County of Maui and Hawaii Tourism Authority have supported the Maui Open Studios Event for the past two years.

Visitor surveys indicate that tourists from all over the world have enjoyed the Maui Open Studios Event over the years.

“Maui is a major art collectors’ travel destination. People come from far and wide to purchase art on Maui and add to their collections. 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 has even become the focus of visitors’ trips to the island, whether inter-island, domestic or international. 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,” said Quan.

Cheryl Sterling, cultural programs specialist with the Maui County Office of Economic Development, said, “Visitors who enjoy the arts will find Maui Open Studios a rewarding tour option. The tour plays out like a treasure hunt – using the MOS Guidebook with maps of studio locations, visitors head out on some of Maui’s scenic roads, seldom explored by visitors, to find the artists. Flying banners and numbered signs mark the spot where one turns into the workshop, home or even gated estate where the artist awaits.

“The found treasures are many – besides seeing Maui’s hidden splendor, you meet the artists in their creative spaces and can browse varied styles of work, from paintings to blown glass, ceramics and sculpture, to wood carvings, photographs and unique jewelry, all reflective of the inspired people who call Maui island home,” she continued.

“Pack a picnic or add in a lunch stop along the way, and you can easily make a day of this interactive art experience.”

For more information, visit www.MauiOpenStudios.com.