Mural Project Aims to Awaken Downtown Hilo
Artists Lauren YS, Matthew Ortiz of Wooden Wave and David “MEGGS” Hooke have taken to the paint and are creating sustainability-themed murals as part of an effort to beautify Downtown Hilo.
The artists began the work this week at Hilo Town Tavern and Short N Sweet Bakery.
Bay Area artist Lauren YS, who studied at Stanford University, is painting the Tavern, while Lāʻie-based artist Matthew Ortiz of Wooden Wave is leading the mural at the bakery in collaboration with Australian artist, MEGGS.
Hilo Town Taverns mural is a tribute to Lauren YS’ sister who recently graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University. Her sister, Dani, is seen as a “cyber-hybrid space biologist traversing a sustainable future dreamscape in search of nutrient rich, local flora.” Dani graduated with a astrobiology degree and focused on finding plants that could be used to sustain life on Mars, in a NASA internship.
A maritime scene it taking place at Short N Sweet. The mural was commissioned by Energy Excelerator, a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to solving the world’s energy challenges. The mural is inspired by Hawaiʻi’s mandated clean energy goals, Wooden Wave’s mural depicts a large sustainability boat equipped with various permaculture and energy producing systems.
The ‘community on a boat’ is outfitted with a bakery, a nod to the building’s history and Hilo’s iconic mom-and-pop shops.
The Hilo murals are led by Temple Children, an arts-based organization founded by Hilo-native Miya Tsukazaki and her partner MEGGS that coordinates projects to strengthen communities, promote social and environmental innovation, and incite positive global change.
Ashley Kierkiewicz rounds out the team as Temple Children’s Regional Director.
HPM Building Supply donated Pratt & Lambert paint and various supplies in support of the project; Hilo Town Tavern and Short N Sweet provided additional onsite assistance.
The murals are expected to be complete this Saturday, May 7. A third and final mural led by MEGGS in collaboration with Oahu-based muralist and tattoo artist Lucky Olelo will commence at Lucy’s Taqueria/Laundry Express the week of May 15.