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Lahaina Arts Society honors Joan McKelvey as a ‘Living Treasure’

By Staff | Jul 16, 2015


LAHAINA – Lahaina artist Joan McKelvey was recently honored with the Lahaina Arts Society (LAS) Living Treasure Award for her continuous contributions to the organization over the past 48 years.

The award was presented by LAS President Michael Stark during the group’s annual meeting and celebration on June 24 at the Pioneer Inn.

One of the founding members and former president of LAS for four terms, McKelvey was recognized for being instrumental in shaping Lahaina Arts Society into what it is today.

“Joan first arrived in Maui after touring the South Seas with her husband and opened the South Seas Trading Company,” said Stark during the award presentation. “While serving as LAS president, she worked with George Allan to claim the Old Jail (in the Old Lahaina Courthouse) and turn it into a?gallery. Joan went on to found the LahainaTown Action Committee. She and her husband were founders of the Sugar Cane Train. She has worked hard for decades to mold Lahaina into the world-renowned destination it is today. I don’t know what we would be, without her.”

During her acceptance speech, McKelvey shared a few colorful anecdotes from her early days in Lahaina.

Amy Fry, chief executive officer of LAS, added, “Lahaina Arts Society is honored to have Joan McKelvey as a ‘Living Treasure’ and lifetime member.”

Jim Killett, owner of Lahaina Galleries, was a guest speaker and entertained the crowd with stories of business on Front Street “back in the old days.” West and South Maui Sen. Roz Baker was also a keynote speaker and gave the attendees a well-rounded report on legislative actions affecting West Maui. Other speakers included outgoing LAS President Stark, incoming President Eric DeMaria, Lahaina Arts Association President Darice McGuire and LAA Director Erin Brothers.