Kona-Based Artist John Ferdico Exhibits in Kahuku, July 20

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John Ferdicco, a mixed media sculptor and visual artist, will be Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s Artist in Residence for July. He will showcase and discuss his multi-colored model aircraft art objects on Friday, July 20, at 10 a.m. in the Kahuku Unit’s Visitor Contact Station and it is free to the public.

John Ferdico is the second Artist in Residence this summer at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. PC: National Parks Arts Foundation and artist John Ferdico

The artist, who was born in New York, raised in Kansas City and moved to Hawai‘i in 2012, takes model aircraft, painstakingly builds and paints them, then uses the plane as a platform for surrealist visual experiments that both entrance and estrange. Ferdico’s work has been featured at the Honolulu Museum of Art.

“What I try to do is make each piece appear to be this exquisitely detailed and accurate model, but with this strange marking scheme,” Ferdico said. “I suppose it is a Surrealist strategy, meant to cause the viewer to reconsider the more ordinary elements seen in the juxtapositions.”

Although Kīlauea has been erupting nonstop for decades, the current eruptive cycle has caused the indefinite closure of two-thirds of the national park since May 11. However, it’s no obstacle for Ferdico to showcase his art in the park’s Kahuku Unit, not far from his family in Kailua-Kona.


The Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is located on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, in Ka‘ū, about a 50-minute drive south of the park’s main entrance. Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection and a snack are recommended for all hikes. Entrance and all programs are free. Kahuku is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ferdico is the second Artist in Residence this summer at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. He earned his Bachelors of Arts in Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute, and his Masters of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute prior to moving to Hawai‘i.

The Artists in Residence is a program of the National Parks Arts Foundation and is supported by the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and other benefactors. The NPAF is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to the promotion of the national parks through creating dynamic opportunities for artwork based in the natural and historic heritage of America.



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