East Hawaii News

Kapa Art Selected for State’s Art in Public Places Collection

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Five kapa artworks by three artists who were featured in a recent Donkey Mill Art Center exhibition were selected to be part of the statewide Art in Public Places collection.

Among the five works selected is Roen Hufford’s piece, “Kumu lipo” (“Source of life”), 2021. Photos by Eric Edwards/courtesy of the Donkey Mill Art Center

The pieces were selected by the art acquisition selection committee of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. The state’s Art in Public Places collection is displayed in more than 640 sites statewide, including schools, libraries, hospitals, airports, state office buildings, the state Capitol and at the Hawai‘i State Art Museum.

“The Donkey Mill is so honored to have five artworks selected … ,” said Donkey Mill Art Center curator Mina Elison. “This purchase demonstrates their commitment to supporting Hawai`i artists whose work is important to the visual arts of Hawai‘i. Recognizing the value of this culturally significant art form and labor-intensive process of kapa making, we can continue to elevate and celebrate innovative contemporary works emerging from these connections with ‘ike kūpuna.”

The artists and their pieces selected to join the state collection are:

  • Bernice Akamine: “Huaka‘i,” 2021
  • Roen Hufford: “Ka papa honua” (“Strata of earth”), 2021; “Kumu lipo” (“Source of life”), 2021; “Pi‘i ka mauna” (“Ascending the mauna”), 2021
  • Dalani Tanahy: “He Kumu Wai ‘Ole,” 2020

The contemporary works of kapa artists from throughout the state were on display during the fall at the Donkey Mill as part of its “Nā Kapa Ku‘ina” exhibit, which highlighted the continued resurgence of the practice of kapa making in Hawai`i and the ways in which artists, like their predecessors, continue to innovate and push the medium.

“The successful sharing and subsequent acquisition of these pieces by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts is in keeping with Donkey Mill’s strategic plan goal to support local artists,” said Maja Grajski, Executive Director. “As a place of convergence, we are an economic engine supporting artists through teaching and professional development opportunities. The Donkey Mill Art Center is committed to establishing West Hawai‘i as a model of a resilient, thriving community where art is considered a necessity, not a luxury.”

For more information about the Donkey Mill and its exhibits and events, click here or call 808-322-3362.



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