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Be a part of the growing Lahaina art community

By Staff | Nov 22, 2018

Darice Maguire, a Lahaina Arts Association board member, won the 2019 Lahaina Poster Contest sponsored by Lahaina Arts Society and LahainaTown Action Committee.

LAHAINA – In past decades, commercial fine art galleries in Lahaina grew our little island into an art Mecca that excites hundreds of thousands of Maui visitors every year. At the same time, Lahaina community organizations have served the needs of Maui families to understand, appreciate and value the discipline and beauty of fine art. These nonprofits also created opportunities for art education in our schools and Boys & Girls Clubs, and helped talented new artists find community shows and exhibits where they could display and sell their art.

Lahaina Arts Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides Maui youth access to creative arts education and opportunities to express themselves through art. LAA sponsors 13 weekly skills-based art classes for children on Maui, Molokai and Lanai, and also runs a Hawaii Youth Mentoring Program.

Every April for the past 40 years, LAA has encouraged talented graduating seniors with their High School Competition, Exhibition and Scholarship Awards Program. Contestants may compete in as many of the eight categories as they wish, including sculpture, oils, pastels and photography. Their artworks are judged and displayed in Lahaina for two weeks, and winners in each category receive scholarship grants. Such icons as George Allan, Joseph Fletcher and Betty Hay Freeland are scholarship supporters. One of the first LAA scholarship recipients was Macario Pascual, now a nationally acclaimed professional artist.

LAA also partners with local organizations like the state Department of Education, Hawaii Housing Authority and Boys & Girls Clubs, and connects esteemed local professional artists with budding young artists from low-income families.

Artist Darice Maguire, the winner of this year’s Lahaina Poster Contest, serves on the LAA board and teaches art in her studio in Lahaina.

The Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational includes paint-outs and art workshops.

“I always tell children and their parents that art is more than ‘pretty pictures,’ ” said Maguire.

“The creative process teaches problem-solving, analysis, critical thought and accepting responsibility for outcomes. You can tell the difference in schools with strong art programs like Kamehameha III and Pomaika’i Elementary School. Art gives the children added executive skills.”

Lahaina Arts Association now offers free art projects for children of all ages.

On Friday, Nov. 30, in Campbell Park, LAA will join Fuzz Box Productions to show the hit movie “How to Train Your Dragon.”

To learn more, volunteer or donate to Lahaina Arts Association, visit www.lahaina-arts.org, e-mail Erin Brothers at erin@lahaina-arts.org or call (808) 214-3964.

For more than 50 years, Lahaina Arts Society (LAS) has promoted visual arts through special exhibits, art festivals and community outreach. Many successful Maui artists began their careers selling their works in the Old Lahaina Courthouse.

LAS artists work closely with the LahainaTown Action Committee and Lahaina Arts Association to support, encourage and promote visual arts.

Today, many of the over 80 artists who belong to Lahaina Arts Society show their works (pottery, sculpture and various genre of framed art) at LAS galleries in the Old Lahaina Courthouse. This treasure chest of affordable “made on Maui” fine art draws visitors who want a memory of their trip to paradise, and Maui locals looking for that perfect special gift.

Member artists also volunteer as gallery hosts in the lower level Old Jail Gallery and the ground-level Banyan Tree Gallery. When business is slow, it’s a great time to meet the artists.

Ed Bartholomew took up oil painting after retiring from the Biology Department of the University of Hawaii Maui College.

“I used to do wildlife illustration where every detail is paramount, but now I enjoy the freedom of broad expression,” said Bartholomew. “If you get the major values and angles right, the viewer will fill in the detail from their own memories. Art is a conversation that is very satisfying.”

LAS recently started holding art fairs at Lahaina Cannery Mall in Lahaina and on the lawn at Maui Brewing Company in Kihei. If you are an artist in search of an outlet to sell your paintings, or if you wish to volunteer to help in the gallery, visit www.LahainaArts.com and download a membership application.

Maui Arts League is a nonprofit membership organization supporting art appreciation, art education and art as a career path for Maui youth. For the last 14 years, MAL (formerly the West Maui Cultural Council) has coordinated the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational, a week of art demonstrations, exhibitions and community education and art sales during Presidents’ Week in February.

Royal Lahaina Resort, Pioneer Inn and Montage Kapalua Bay host exhibitions by 25 of the top award-winning outdoor landscape artists in the U.S.

MAL finds “host families” to provide lodging for the traveling artists, who each produce 8-12 paintings to sell here on Maui. Festivities include paint-outs for public viewing, an art lecture and silent auction, three-day plein air workshops taught by traveling artists and panel discussions with artists, curators, art educators and art collectors.

Generous sponsors, donors and art sales allow MAL to move toward their ultimate mission of building a fine arts museum destination in West Maui.

“We believe that a nonprofit museum will bring together the fine work of our Maui artists and a community of art lovers and collectors,” said Lois Reiswig, president of Maui Arts League. “We want our talented Maui youth to see fine art as a career opportunity, to see artists at work, enjoy the high level of their art and picture themselves as successful artists. A picture is worth a thousand words.”

On Sunday, Nov. 25, from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Mary Anne Fitch and Nam Le Viet of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers and Christie’s International will host “Paint the Town Together,” an elegant evening of fine foods, fine wines and fine art, to benefit Maui Arts League at Taverna Restaurant in the heart of Kapalua Resort. Rita Boyle of Christie’s International will give a special presentation for both serious and first-time art collectors called “Supporting Your Community Through Art.”

For information, event tickets or to volunteer as a host family, visit www.CelebrateArtOnMaui.org or call Lois at (808) 665-1491.

Retirement years give a little extra time and inspiration to learn about new things or have experiences that you always dreamed about. If you love art and want to follow that yearning, there are many community organizations right here in Lahaina that offer ways to experience and appreciate fine art.