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Fifth Maui Open Studios Event to feature over 90 artists

By Staff | Jan 22, 2015

Iris Jean Nola displays a freshly made work of art.

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

The fifth annual event is scheduled for four weekends in January and February. 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, “talk story,” connect and inspire visitors through one-on-one interactions and, in some cases, live demonstrations.

The entire event is free to the public. The mission of MOS is to connect the art community directly with art-lovers on Maui.

Visitors are invited to join many of the artists at the Opening Celebration/Preview Exhibition on Saturday, Jan. 31, 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 containing an artist directory and maps directing them to different studios and exhibition spaces around the island.

Pick up a guidebook or visit www.MauiOpenStudios.com, then design your own self-guided tours for each weekend of the month.

Brian Persha welcomed guests into his studio.

Hours for the weekend shows are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The schedule is: West and South Maui, Feb. 7-8; Upcountry, Feb. 14-15; and Central Maui, North Shore, Road to Hana and Hana, Feb. 21-22.

Since its inception, the event has featured more than 80 artists every year and generated over 6,000 individual studio visits by art collectors and enthusiasts each event.

Some $100,000 in art sales made directly between art collectors and artists has been generated by the event each year since its creation.

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

“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.

The County of Maui and Hawaii Tourism Authority have supported the Maui Open Studios Event. Quan said their sponsorship and support have helped bring more attention to the visual arts on Maui.

“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,” said Cheryl Sterling of the county Office of Economic Development.

“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. 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 on the event, visit www.MauiOpenStudios.com.