Musician and Textile Artist Named January Artists-in-Residence

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Elsa and Will Oldham. Courtesy photo by Christian Hansen.

Musician Will Oldham and his wife, textile artist Elsa Hansen Oldham, have been selected as the January 2018 Artists-in-Residence at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

The non-profit National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) announced the selection of the couple. Oldham’s music is described as an alternative blend of country, folk and punk. Elsa Oldham’s quilting and cross stitch work puts a folksy pop-art spin on history and modern culture.

The pair will present a dual multimedia performance on Jan. 26 in the Kīlauea Visitor Center beginning at 6 p.m. Will Oldham will sing and play music while his wife does stitch work on stage projected to the auditorium’s movie screen.


“As the park enters our fourth year of the Artist-in-Residence Program, we look forward to our second musician and first textile artist,” said Laura Carter Schuster, chief of Cultural Resources at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. “Hawai‘i has such a long tradition of both music and quilting, this pair seems like a match for our location.”

The couple lives in Louisville, KY and will reside in the park for one month. Oldham has performed since 1998 under the name Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and prior to that as Palace Brothers and Palace Music. His songs have been performed by Johnny Cash, Marianne Faithful and others. His new record, Best Troubadour, is a collection of Merle Haggard songs. Hansen Oldham’s textile art is displayed at the Dickinson Roundell Gallery in New York, and she was recently profiled in the New York Times.

The project is supported by the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and other benefactors. NPAF is a nonprofit supported by donors and dedicated to the promotion of the national parks through creating artwork based in the natural and historic heritage of America.



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