Murals Project Engages Youth in Art and Hawaiian Values

September 15, 2019, 9:00 AM HST (Updated September 26, 2019, 6:30 AM)
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Local artists, cultural advisors and students are teaming up to create a large-scale, outdoor mural themed on Hawaiian songs (mele), stories of the land (moʻolelo ʻaina), and the cultural and historical heritage of Waimea.

Called the Mele Mural Collaboration, the project is a new partnership between The Estria Foundation, the Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy (HPA) and the Bill Healy Foundation on Hawai‘i Island.

HPA will support field trips for students to a local site of significance who will be led through guided meditations with kupuna (elders) to discover a mural subject appropriate for the place. Students from Kanu o ka ʻĀina, Parker School, ʻAlo Kēhau, Punana Leo o Waimea, Waimea Elementary, Small World Preschool, Waimea Country School and Ke Kula ʻo ʻEhunuikaimalino will participate.

The Mele Murals project will be an eight-day workshop beginning Sept. 18. Estria Miyashiro, founder of The Estria Foundation, will mentor students during their work. The students will also be guided by local artists, community leaders and cultural practitioners to create visual concepts connecting mele and the land.

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The public is invited to observe the mural painting as it happens on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. at the Waimea Community Center. The mural will conclude with a public unveiling and blessing on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 3 to 4 p.m. followed by music and food at the Waimea Community Center.

Mele Murals aims to develop the visual storytelling skills of youth interested in the arts while preserving Hawaiian cultural values.

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