First Banyan Drive Art Stroll Draws Artists

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“Lili‘uokalani Nene” by Paul Miyasaki.

A call for artists for the upcoming, first annual Banyan Drive Art Stroll, sponsored by Friends of Lili‘uokalani Gardens, pulled in more than 70 works of art in several media and 90 photographic images for a calendar competition.

“We really appreciate the time, effort, and expertise that it takes to create a beautiful work of art,” said Bonnie Sol of the Banyan Drive Art Stroll committee. “The great number of entries challenged the jurors of both the Banyan Drive Art Stroll and photographers’ calendar contest.”

Juror Dick Nelson selected four artists for recognition.

First juror’s choice is “Queen Lili‘uokalani and Her Gardens” by Valentina Montoya, an 11-by-14-inch pencil, ink and watercolor piece Nelson described as “a regal queen in a setting of unabashed color fitting for any garden celebration and created with aesthetic competence.”

Second juror’s choice goes to Christine Ahia for an 11-by-14-inch pastel titled “Lili‘uokalani me na keiki o ka ‘aina.” Nelson said the piece displays “the sense of calm majesty in a playful and colorful atmosphere. Color luminosity, the envy of any colorist, is exceptional.”


Third juror’s choice is for Jeffrey Pietrzak 34-by-28-inch watercolor titled “Aloha, Welcome to My Gardens,” set in the iconic red bridge. Nelson said, “a fitting setting for a place of honor, (his work) brings both garden and queen together in a harmonious whole.”

Fourth juror’s choice is “Hilo Bay Serenity,” a photograph by Alan Lakritz, which Nelson described as “a formal composition of rich color harmonies which combine Hilo’s misty atmosphere with the intense hues of the foreground subject.”

“We are especially grateful to juror Dick Nelson from Kula, Maui, for bringing his professional expertise to a difficult selection process,” said Jelena Clay of Banyan Gallery.

An esteemed watercolorist and instructor, Nelson studied with Joseph Albers at Yale and subsequently developed his own “tri-hue” method of painting. During his Honolulu years, Nelson served on the State Foundation for Culture and the Arts, was art consultant for Alexander & Baldwin for 10 years, and chaired the Punahou Art Department for 22 years.

He was the designer and director for the Wailea Art Center on Maui and has been painting and teaching on Maui since 1978.


Banyan Drive Art Stroll entrants eligible for People’s Choice Award voting (alphabetical order)
Bolded selections were also juror’s choices

  • Christine Ahia for “Lili‘uokalani me ma keiki o ka ‘aina”
  • Vivian Ursula Bratton for “Beneath Sunset Lights” and “One View of a Thousand, My `Aina”
  • K.T. Cannon-Eger for “Still Morning Reflected” and “Nagasaki Lion Picnic”
  • Ken Charon for “Hawaiian Lands in Hawaiian Hands”
  • Faith Cloud for “Lili‘uokalani Gardens: Enchanted Rainscape” and “Lili`uokalani Gardens: Fisherman”
  • Alaina deHavilland for “Aloha ‘Oe”
  • Yumi Doi for “Cats in Lili‘uokalani Garden” and “Young Queen Lili`uokalani.”
  • Bill Eger for “Peaceful Hiroshima”
  • Mary Goodrich for “Stone Steps”, “Moon Bridge,” “Line of Trees,” “Branches and Torii,” “Ironwood Reflection” and “Tranquility”
  • Bonnie Sol Hahn for “High Tide” and “Garden Bridge”
  • Christa Kadarvsman for “Sunrise in Queen Lili‘uokalani Gardens” and “Three Hula Dancers”
  • Alan Lakritz for “Hilo Bay Serenity,” “Bridge of Tides,” “Park Life,” “The Red Pavilion” and “Walk This Way”
  • Marilyn Montgomery for “Lili‘uokalani Park”
  • Valentina Montoya for “Queen Lili‘uokalani and her Gardens”
  • Patti Pease-Johnson for “The Rain Clings Close to the Forest” (“Pipili Ka Ua I Ka Nahele”)
  • Jeffrey Pietrzak for “Aloha, Welcome to My Gardens”
  • Diane Renchler for “Pagoda at Lili`uokalani Park” and “Looking Out From Pagoda, Lili`uokalani”
  • Kornelius Schorle for “Colors of Autumn in Hawaii”, “Walk With Me,” “Cross Reflections” and “Nuptials Bridge”
  • Sunny Seal-LaPlante for “Mo‘okuauhau” (Royal Lineage)
  • Sakiko Shinkai for “Kids at Coconut Island”
  • Diane Thornton for “Lili‘uokalani Park”
  • Robert Weiss for “A Quiet Afternoon” and “The Tea House”
  • William Wingert for “Pagoda, Lili‘uokalani Park” and “Hilo Colors”

The People’s Choice works will be displayed at the Grand Naniloa Hotel, a DoubleTree by Hilton. Votes cast during the Banyan Drive Art Stroll will determine prize awards from Akamai Art Supply and Cunningham Gallery.

Artists who were accepted to show in the Banyan Drive Art Stroll, but whose work did not meet the criteria for People’s Choice Award voting

  • Rose Adare for “Within” (figurative)
  • Alan Fine for “King Kalakaua” and “Prince David & Jonah Kuhio”
  • Carol Froysland for “Single Turtle” and “Turtle on Reef”
  • Peter Heineman for “Keauhou Seawalls,” “Kona Heavens,” “Manini Snorkel,” “Old Airport Calm,” “South End Beach 68”, and “To The Beach”
  • Vijay Karai for “Lava Glow”
  • Kristen Luning for “Fern Fronds” and “Aloha ‘Oe”
  • Maria Macias for ” ‘Alala with ‘Ohi‘a” and “I‘iwi with Mamane”
  • Peggy McKinsey for “White Magic,” “Pua Melia,” “Azure Skies,” and “Good As Gold”
  • Sakiko Shinkai for “Gardenia” and “Red Rose”
  • William Wingert for “Grass Hat,” “Farm Road, Waimea,” and “Rodeo Rider, Waimea”

These works will be displayed at the Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

Another group of artists to be displayed during the Banyan Drive Art Stroll are the photographers selected by Alvis Upitis in a calendar competition.


The calendar photography contest grand prize winner is Kenneth Jackson for his image, “Angel Crossing” (June and cover). Jackson will ride with Mick Kalber and Bruce Omori courtesy of Paradise Helicopters, sponsor of the grand prize.

The following works will be displayed at Banyan Gallery.

  • Paul Miyasaki for his image “Lili`uokalani Nene” (January)
  • K.T. Canon Eger for her image “Nagasaki Lion Picnic” (February)
  • Kornelius Schorle for his image “Walk With Me” (March)
  • Steve Godzsak for his image “Nature’s Shapes n Colors” (April)
  • Alan Lakritz for his image “The Bridge of Tides” (May)
  • Kenneth Jackson for his image “Angel Crossing” (June and cover)
  • Toby Hazel for her image “Tea Room View” (July)
  • Debra L Newbery for her image “Bamboo Pagoda” (August)
  • Steve Pollard for his image “Wahine Hula” (September)
  • Alan Lakritz “Hilo Bay Serenity” (October)
  • Kenneth Jackson for his image “Winter Day 3” (November)
  • Valerie A. Victorine for her image “Lili`uokalani Shrine” (December)
  • Vernon L. Enriques for his image “All the Park” (January 2018)

“We owe deep gratitude to photo calendar juror Alvis Upitis for bringing his professional expertise to a difficult selection process,” said photographer and videographer Ken Goodrich of Volcano.

Upitis is a working commercial photographer with 40 years experience shooting for Fortune 500 companies and top advertising agencies worldwide. He has BS and MFA degrees in photography. He taught photo art and techniques at the college level for 10 years.

The Banyan Drive Art Stroll will be held Saturday, Jan. 14, from noon until 6 p.m. All art work must be picked up by 8 p.m.

All artwork must be picked up by 8 p.m.

For more information on this and other events scheduled to celebrate the centennial of Lili‘uokalani Gardens, contact K.T. Cannon-Eger of Friends of Lili‘uokalani Gardens at [email protected] or call (808) 895-8130.

Call to Artists for Queen Lili‘uokalani Art Stroll

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