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Art expert to lead meetings on proposed fine arts museum

By Staff | Oct 29, 2015

Jean Stern, executive director of The Irvine Museum, judges the 2014 Maui invitational's paintings. PHOTO BY JEN TAYLOR, 7/10 MEDIA.

LAHAINA – Jean Stern, art authority, author of 17 books and developer of the highly successful Irvine Museum in California, will run what promises to be three lively discussions on the world of art and what a community museum can mean to children, seniors, art lovers and everyone who wants to know more about fine art.

Lois Reiswig, president of the nonprofit Maui Arts League sponsoring the meetings and aiming to build a fine arts museum in West Maui, will join Stern and explain the vision for the league and its plans for the museum.

The meetings will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at three locations to make attending convenient for the West Maui community, according to Reiswig.

Locations include the West Maui Senior Center at 788 Pauoa St. (just off Lahainaluna Road) in Lahaina on Nov. 10; the Royal Lahaina Resort’s main ballroom at 278 Kekaa Drive in Kaanapali Resort on Nov. 11; and Maui Preparatory Academy’s dining hall at 4910 Honoapiilani Highway in Napili on Nov. 12.

An accomplished lecturer who has judged the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational since it started, Stern and his wife, Linda, an art analyst and ardent proponent of community art education, have been invited by the Maui Arts League to facilitate the discussions.

Stern discussed the role of an art museum.

“A museum raises the cultural level of the community and exposes a lot more people to art and historic art,” he said.

“It can preserve and document art. A museum can be a place where the community visits to learn about art – not to buy art.”

The head of the Irvine Museum noted that developing a place that can display fine art, sponsor exhibits and hold classes for aspiring artists of all ages is no easy task.

He added that he has been impressed with the “super efficient” way that the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational is managed. Stern said the fact that some of the same people are involved in the Maui Arts League increases the likelihood of success with the new effort to establish a museum.

Reiswig, who heads the league’s predecessor organization, the West Maui Cultural Council, pointed out that a recent article in Southwest ART Magazine noted that “there are more highly regarded artists creating representational work now than ever before; there are more thriving, traditional ateliers (studios, workshops) providing artists with classical training and there are more and more institutions and organizations making an effort to support this burgeoning art movement.”

Reiswig believes West Maui is ripe for a museum that could fulfill these roles.

To register to attend one of the meetings about the proposed fine arts museum in West Maui and the new Maui Arts League, contact Sara Foley at (808) 667-0589 or e-mail her at sara@mauicommunicators.com.