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Lahaina Arts Association awards scholarships to high school artists

By Staff | May 4, 2017

From left, Marisa McPhee, Caitlin Tanoue, Makamae Zamonra Makanui, Dyllon Oishi-Mochida, Layce Yamauchi, Chais Pascua, Sarah Wilhelm and Jessica Kingwell were honored at the April 19 event. PHOTOS BY ROB DECAMP.

LAHAINA – Lahaina Arts Association’s vision is to provide artistic opportunities to support Maui’s young artists. The annual High School Senior Art Scholarship, Competition and Exhibition is one of its most rewarding programs.

LAA’s donors, volunteers and sponsors make it possible for the organization to award over $4,000 in scholarships and prizes every year to Maui County youth who want to pursue an art-related post-secondary education.

In addition to scholarship awards, this year, the Best of Show and first place winners each received a one-year membership to Lahaina Arts Society. LAS provides resources for new artists, mentorships and the opportunity to sell their artwork in a gallery and at popular Banyan Tree Art Fairs. LAA hopes this membership will continue to support Maui youth as they embark on professional artistic careers.

The 2017 exhibition included 30 entries from 15 high school seniors from Baldwin High School, Maui Preparatory Academy, Lahainaluna High School and Molokai High School. Artwork was on display at the Old Jail Gallery in the Old Lahaina Courthouse from April 5 until the closing reception and awards ceremony on April 19. Judges included Lynn Shue from Village Galleries, Megan Medley from the Maui Youth Art Outreach Program, and Amy Justin, nominated by the Lahaina Arts Society board of directors.

The closing reception and awards ceremony was attended by the student artists, their teachers, family, friends, LAA board of directors and donors, as well as local gallery owners and art consultants from Maui. Koa’s Seaside Grill in Lahaina donated the delicious appetizers.

The Best of Show winner was Chais Pascua from Baldwin High School. Chais, who plans to attend San Francisco City College to study illustration, said his love for art started at a young age. “Art was the jet plane that could take me to far off lands. I viewed it as a portal that led me to a fantasy world without me budging at all,” he said.

The winning piece, “Wahine Ume Ume,” is a linoleum print with oil-based ink. “I tend to add a sense of playfulness and cartoonish elements in my pieces, which reflects my personality. My interpretation of folklore, people or simple appliances is unique, and the different media I use to express them is wide in range,” Chais said.

The 2017 scholarship winners were:

Lahaina Arts Association Best Of Show – Chais Pascua for “Wahine Ume Ume;”

Podge Elvenstar First Place Award in Painting – Layce Yamauchi for “Isai,” and Honorable Mention to Chais Pascua for “Succession;”

Maui on Metal First Place Award in Drawing – Jessica Kingwell for “Caught in the Moment,” and Honorable Mention to Chais Pascua for “What a Joke;”

Art on Market First Place Award in Photography – Dyllon Oishi-Mochida for “Wailele,” and Honorable Mention to Makamae Zamora-Makanui for “Beautiful Kahiko;”

Haruto “Harry” Furuta First Place Award in Mixed Media – Marisa McPhee for “Unpredictable,” and Honorable Mention to Chais Pascua for “Wahine Ume Ume.”

Lahaina Arts Society First Place Award in Three-Dimension – Chaniya Silva for “Old Reliables,” and Honorable Mention to Layce Yamauchi for “Untitled.”

Earl Thompson First Place Award in Digital Art – Sarah Wilhelm for “Skull Still Life,” and Honorable Mention to Sonja Angst for “Maria.”

The student artists will be attending colleges all over the world, including Willamette University; University of Oregon; Gonzaga University in Florence, Italy; University of Puget Sound; and the University of Hawaii, to name a few.

All of the scholarship awards are sponsored by individual donors. This year, new donors include Donna Meistrich of Maui on Metal Gallery on Front Street in Lahaina, and the owners of a new gallery in Wailuku, Art on Market. Continuing scholarship donors include Maui professional artists Joel and Kathy Heinz, Podge Elvenstar and Earl Thompson, as well as Lahaina Arts Society, which also hosts the exhibition and reception for the program.

LAA thanked the donors and sponsors for supporting this special program in 2017. “We look forward to growing this program each year, to include larger scholarship awards, more prizes and more opportunities for local youth,” the 501(c)(3) charity noted.

LAA offers free art classes to children on Maui and Molokai through the Maui Youth Art Outreach Program. LAA also provides a Hawaiian Youth Mentoring Program and awards partial tuition-assistance scholarships to graduating Maui County art students.

LAA inspires creative thinking and artistic expression by creating opportunities for art appreciation and education through the support of grants, foundations and individual donations. Visit www.LahainaArts.org for information.