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Artists create sensational paddles for Napili Canoe Club benefit

By Staff | Jun 24, 2010

Ronaldo Macedo was inspired to paint legendary waterman Eddie Aikau.

WEST MAUI — The Napili Canoe Club Paddle Mania fund-raiser has been launched, with 30 artists donating 37 ingeniously embellished paddles to the cause.

It’s a menagerie of creativity that can be currently virtually viewed on the web at www.napilicanoeclub.com/, with the paddles installed for display at Lahaina Cannery Mall from June 27 to Aug. 14.

The drive is a team effort, with Napili Canoe Club (NCC) members contributing used paddles to local artists, resulting in original works of art put on the block for bid by the public at Kaanapali Coffee Farms’ Rainbow House on Aug. 14.

The goal is to raise money to purchase a canoe for NCC keiki and wahine.

Organizers of the event are Carol Elterman, Ellen Fraundorf, Jeanne Gonzales, Marilyn Maulin, Fran Peart Mitsumura, Eugene Tihada, Joey Tihada and Kim Willis.

“The members of Napili Canoe Club are so excited by this innovative approach to fund-raising,” club President Jeanne Gonzales said.

“We have been overwhelmed by the positive response of the artists of Maui who are supporting our event. Our club has always been committed to the Junior Division (18 years and younger), so we love the community involvement the artists represent,” Gonzales added.

“I think the artists have really pulled out the stops with their ideas. I am so impressed with the talent our island artists have. I knew they would be good, but the differences in styles are terrific,” Mitsumura commented.

Gonzales agreed: “The artwork is sensational! There’s a good variety, not only of subject matter, but medium as well. I think there will be something to appeal to everyone. I’ve already picked my favorites!”

Contributing artists are Bettina, Charlie Lyon, Daniel Tancayo (NCC), Deybra, Don Crossley, George Young, Gordon Schmuhl, Greg Guzman, Guy Junker, Jaisy Hanlon, Jan Kaspzyski, Janet Davis, Jaquelynne Mauvais, Jeanne Denton-Nelson, Jennifer Holt, Ken Loyd, Lisa Kaspzyski, Lynda Towles, Marilyn Maulin, Marylee Sakas (NCC), Michael Orr, Muffie Davis, Peter and Madeline Powell, Ron Howard, Ronaldo Macedo, Steven Lee Smeltzer and Tracy Dudley.

Multi-award-winning artist Ronaldo Macedo has incorporated Eddie Aikau into his design.

Macedo described the reasons behind his heartfelt inspiration.

“First, I think all the Hawaiians really look up to Eddie as a waterman and all around Hawaiian hero. I wanted to do a very Hawaiian image; and maybe because I was reading the book (‘Eddie Would Go’) also at the time the project came up, it was my instinct to paint him. I felt like connecting history with this current event. As the idea developed, I wanted to portray him as well as what he is known for, his surfing and the Hokulea. So it was to honor him once again to an audience that would definitely appreciate it and relate to the image.”

“Canoes, paddles, ocean, Hawaiian traditions — people coming together to help others,” Macedo continued. “From the book, I got that Eddie’s family didn’t have much, and his dad worked super hard… even taking residency in the cemetery was such a sacrifice to make ends meet. But when someone outside of the family needed help, the Aikaus took them in, fed them and gave them a place to sleep. As a family, they really stuck together. I think the paddling community is similar; it’s people from all over… they really stick together and look to perpetuate the sport and the importance it has for Hawaii people.”

Mitsumura encourages the community to go to Lahaina Cannery Mall and to visit the website to register to attend the auction on Aug. 14.

“You will be pleasantly surprised; you will eat great food; you will be supporting a wonderful event; and, you might just get to go home with an original piece of art that your neighbors will drool over,” she concluded.