Exhibit Features Eruption-Inspired Artwork

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Puna resident Bailey Ferguson will show a new piece in a developing series of abstract artwork inspired by the recent Kīlauea eruption. The exhibition, Abstract Only!, will run during August.

Bailey A. Ferguson at an art show in Kalapana. Courtesy photo.

“I’m using this series to heal from some of the trauma felt as a result of mine and many of my friends’ lives being turned upside down by the recent eruption,” Ferguson said.

Bailey, like many of her fellow Puna residents have endured destruction, uprooting from their community and fear of the unknown.

“As a way to understand the chaos surrounding her, Ferguson’s bold abstract work explores this state of flux—a dance between destruction and creation, which was induced by her recent displacement due to volcanic activity,” said Mina Elison, Curator at the Kona Historical Society. “The relevance of Ferguson’s recent paintings is powerful, presenting an important visual representation of the experience trying to understand and accept the concurrent nature of these seemingly opposing elements of destruction and creation.”


The artist evacuated her home and art studio after the 6.9 earthquake on May 3, 2018; while displaced Ferguson embraced new tools and medium like house paint, pencil, palette knives and rollers. “I’ve been a traditional oil painter for 12 years, and when I left my studio in Puna I embraced materials that were easily assessable and transportable,” said Ferguson. “The volcano forced my art in a new direction, and I’m going with the flow.”

“Laze II,” 2018, mixed media on paper on view during the “Abstract Only!” exhibit

Ferguson hopes the work can inspire others to use art as therapy and that the work can offer a different vantage point of the eruption.

“So many of us are experiencing destruction, but also extreme beauty—which can create confusion in the mind and spirit,” Ferguson said. “Art can bring both sides together.”


The exhibition will be shown at Wailoa Center located at 200 Piopio St., in Hilo.

The opening reception will be on Aug. 3, 2018, from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition runs from Aug. 3 to 30, 2018.

Wailoa Center is a Division of State Parks, Department of Land and Natural Resources. The exhibition, Abstract Only!, was juried by Hawai‘i Island Art Alliance and curated by Patrick O’Kiersey. The show features 104 pieces of art from Hawai‘i artists and beyond.


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