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Lahaina artist returns to redo mural with students

By Staff | Dec 22, 2011

Students who worked on the mural include (from left): front — Toby Manafo, Mike Manafo, Mikayla Head, Abby Sauers and Caylyn Villatora; back row — Jerry Morgan, Emma Scott, Caitlyn Villatora, Brittany Morgan, Tom Scott and Sydney Gilbert. Teacher Kristen Payne and students Nainoa Moore and Tim Lee also participated in the project. Photo by Randy Miller.

LAHAINA – For visitors and kama’aina alike, one of the charming aspects of driving through town is the marine mural on the side of the Lahaina Self Storage building at the corner of Papalaua Street and Honoapiilani Highway at Anchor Square.

The undersea, three-dimensional artwork has captivated southbound drivers and patrons of Kodac’s Chevron since 1996, when local artist Jerry Morgan created the unique wall piece that has become a landmark in West Maui.

But the bountiful sunshine that bathed the wall throughout the years also weathered it, and the vibrant shades of blue had faded to a mist of the original effect.

Enter Tom Scott, owner/operator of Scott Brothers Painting, who was contracted to redo the exterior of the entire building at the beginning of December.

“I had asked the owners and managers of the building if it would be okay to redo the mural, and they said yes,” said Scott, one of West Maui’s forward-thinking entrepreneurs.

“We arranged for Jerry (Morgan) to come over from Haiku and mentor some Maui Prep kids to redo the mural.”

Maui Preparatory Academy art teacher Kristen Payne gathered a group of her students to volunteer to work with Morgan to restore the luster of the mural, and from Dec. 10-14, the energetic bunch of seventh- to twelfth-graders completed the restoration project.

“The student volunteers ranged in age from middle school to students who are in my AP art class,” said Payne.

“It was really neat to see students from all grades working together on one project and watch the whole mural evolve and come together. It was also such a great opportunity for students to work with a local artist, contribute back to the community, learn valuable art lessons and techniques and be able to literally leave their own mark behind.”

The Maui Prep students who participated in the effort were seventh-graders Emma Scott and Nainoa Moore; eighth-graders Caitlyn Villatora, Caylyn Villatora and Brittany Morgan; freshman Sydney Gilbert; sophomore Tim Lee; junior Mikayla Head; and AP seniors Abby Sauers and Samantha Castillo.

Morgan, a former Lahaina resident who now resides in Haiku and works in various art forms, including painting, sculpture and stainless steel furniture he calls “Fruit of the Room,” said, “I was happy to work with Tom (Scott) to redo this mural, and I was eager to work with the kids and get it done. I think it’s a great opportunity now for all to enjoy the view from the highway.”