Youth exhibit features 160 artworks honoring ‘The Celebrated Lands of Waimea’

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The opening reception of the 2023 Waimea All Schools Art Exhibition was held April 20, 2023 at Kahilu Theatre. (Kahilu Exhibition)

More than 160 artworks from pre-K students to high school seniors are on display at the 2023 Waimea All Schools Art Exhibition at Kahilu Theatre.

Creations by artists from 10 Waimea schools on the Big Island all explore the theme: Nā Pana Moku ʻĀina o Waimea (The Celebrated Lands of Waimea).

The 10th anniversary of the youth art exhibit was organized by the Waimea Education Hui, sponsored by many community partners, and presented by Kahilu Theatre.


The watercolor landscape paintings, drawings, dioramas, poetry, photography, ceramic sculptures and mixed media artworks honor the lands of and around Waimea. Students were encouraged to answer the question: “What is your pana (celebrated land) or wahipana (sacred space)?”

Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy students contributed to the 2023 Waimea All Schools Art Exhibition at Kahilu Theatre. (Kahilu Theatre)

The artists were from these schools: ʻAlo Kēhau o ka ʻĀina Mauna, Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy Upper Campus, Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy Village Campus, Kanu o Ka ʻĀina, Parker School, Pūnana Leo o Waimea, Standing Spring Academy, Waimea Country School, Waimea Elementary School and Waimea Middle School.

“After all these years and exhibitions, we are reminded that together we are one community, one school,” organizer Pua Case said at the opening reception on April 20.


Andy Behrle, Kahilu Exhibits’ Gallery Director, said this year’s exhibition set records for the number of schools and artists participating.

“It is an amazing thing to be inspired by the vision and enthusiasm of our community’s young artists,” he said. “Seeing the pride on their faces as they find their artwork in the exhibit and show it off to their families is just about the most heartwarming moment you can ask for. It makes us all proud to have played a part in bringing the exhibition to life.”

Parker School and Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy students artwork hangs at the 2023 Waimea All Schools Art Exhibition at Kahilu Theatre. (Kahilu Theatre)

Behrle thanked the teachers and school staff who “really are the heart and soul of this exhibition. Without the teachers individually taking on the task of integrating the theme into their curriculum, there is no way this exhibition could happen.”


The exhibit will run through May 28.  The galleries are open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am. to 2 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to accommodate families after early-release days. Ticket holders to events at Kahilu Theatre can also view the exhibition before and after events.

Kahilu Exhibits also will open for special gallery hours on May 13 from 10 am. to 2 p.m. to coincide with the farmers markets in Waimea and the Big Island Art Fair that will be at Kahilu Town Hall across the street from Kahilu Theatre.

School groups and community groups interested in visiting the exhibition can call Kahilu at 808-885-6868 or email [email protected] to schedule a visit. For more information, visit:

This year’s exhibition was sponsored by Waimea Education Hui, The Royal Order of Kamehameha I Moku o Kohala, Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club, Nā Kālai Waʻa, Mauna Kea Education and Awareness, and Kahilu Theatre Foundation.

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