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Art show to feature work by West Maui students

By Staff | Jan 5, 2012

Holland vanHemert (left) and Tracy Castro are staging an art show at Barnes & Noble in Lahaina as their senior project at Lahainaluna High School.

LAHAINA – Sorting through “an overwhelming amount” of artwork created by young West Side artists, Lahainaluna High School students Holland vanHemert and Tracy Castro are organizing an art show as their senior project.

Featuring works by West Maui students from kindergarten to high school, the show will be held at Barnes & Noble at Lahaina Gateway Center from Jan. 12-22.

“We have roughly 80 pieces we have chosen from to display in the show, and every post in the store will have artwork on them,” Castro said.

Students from LHS, Lahaina Intermediate, Princess Nahi’ena’ena, King Kamehameha III Elementary and Sacred Hearts School contributed pieces.

The seniors were inspired to stage the show through their Lahainaluna art teacher, Nancy Young.

“Well, we knew that Ms. Young conducts art shows all the time at Barnes & Noble, and we thought that it would be fun to conduct one ourselves,” Castro explained.

“I really liked the idea of this project because I love art and adore kids. I’ve known Ms. Young since my sophomore year, and she’s been guiding us through this long process with this show. It’s a lot more art than her last art shows, because we not only have just our high school participating – we have four other schools.”

After reaching out to the other Lahaina schools, the seniors received around 400 submissions.

“We accepted any types of two-dimensional artwork, whether digitally made or hand-drawn. We received a lot of portraits from a wide range of students,” vanHemert said.

“It was extremely difficult to choose which pieces would be displayed, since there were so many wonderful submissions, and we could only hang a small portion of them,” she continued.

“Tracy and I sat down with our mentor and chose our favorites out of all the submissions. This was based on which pieces we felt were the most successful, the most interesting and which ones would grab somebody’s attention when placed in a show.”

Barnes & Noble is letting the duo hang artwork along the posts throughout the store, and it’s giving the students a wall to hang some of the bigger pieces.

“Also, by designating Lahainaluna High School at checkout, I think they’re even donating a small portion of the total to our Art Department,” vanHemert added.

Both students plan to major in art in college, and they are learning new aspects of the field in their 30- to 40-hour projects that will conclude with presentations in front of a panel of community members, teachers, administrators, counselors and underclassmen.

“During this process, I’ve learned what art curators look for in good art, how you approach schools and teachers, how to have an eye for art, and lastly, I learned that being organized is the key to success,” Castro said.

vanHemert learned how to print and mount images, as well as the different aspects of promoting the show with fliers and posters.

“There really is a lot of work that goes into creating a successful art show,” she said.

With the show days away, Castro said they sent out invitation postcards to the schools.

They are also creating posters to hang up around the Lahainaluna High School campus and distribute to other schools.

They are confident the art show will feature something for everyone.

“People can expect to see a lot of different pieces. We have oil pastel portraits from elementary students and sketched portraits from high schoolers. We have photographs to digitally created pieces,” vanHemert said.

“In other words, we have a little of everything, and there’s bound to be something that everyone will like in this show.”

For information, visit Maui’s Association of Young Artists on Facebook.