An Art Cathedral
Wind down the luxuriously wide driveway lined with a water fountain and bougainvillea that leads to Honolulu Country Club. Walk up the stairs and swing open the giant doors to a foyer where the walls are set with paintings by a selection of emerging and established artists.
Sunshine streams in through large glass panels that look out on a garden, and light from overhead is filtered through a vaulted stained glass ceiling, giving the effect that you’re in a hallowed space. Dizzying paintings by Dennis McGeary tease the imagination with their Biblical deluge of waves and land masses turning in on themselves like something from a dream – images more far-out than the movie Inception produced. Cosmic chaos mingles with order as perfectly patterned ag fields rise into a vortex that sends their harvest dissipating in all directions.
Surrounding McGeary’s work are pieces for sale. The Yin and Yang exhibit program describes the works as “a celebration of all things in balance – shadow and light, night and day, heaven and earth, male and female.”
David Friedman’s Escheresque works in latex enamel are a spectacular contrast in white and black. Barbara Eberhart dallies in mixed media. Two birds soaring through sunny ethers in her Above the Battleground find their sharp opposite in the decay below them in the form of bits of newspaper, toy soldiers, bones, a crab claw, things that together equal darkness and death. In another of her pieces sky meets earth in a surreal medley that depicts a green snake and lizard meeting a woman’s silhouette in the clouds.
A contemporary set of portrait sketches in Sharpie by Doug Ing, and filled in with watercolor, are titled Daria, Nicole, Jasmine, Lulu and Orawee. Ing provides compelling descriptions of the works: “She was a student in three of my classes,” “My stories captivated her. Oh, she is wearing a diamond ring,” “She sells drinks at Art After Dark,” “On the flight between Narita Airport and Bangkok there was an empty seat. She sat down.” The pieces are modern, simple and curious.
There are watercolors by Angela Bushman with splashes of color, like remnants from an Indian Holi festival, and an enchanting Maui Sunset by Jennifer Rothschild in sea green complemented by vivid red streaks reflected in the ocean, marking a dramatic end to the day.
The Ticket Stub
YIN AND YANG
When: Through Oct. 7 Where:Honolulu Country Club Gallery (1690 Ala Puumalu St.)
More Info: Call Jennifer Rothschild at 286-5675 or Elizabeth York 551-1956
Gliding Into Harbor
It’s easy to feel a nostalgic twinge when images of a bygone era beckon you from the walls of the Coronet Lounge at Royal Hawaiian Resort. One image depicts fanfare simply nonexistent today, with a behemoth Matson ship pulling into Honolulu Harbor amid a shower of streamers. These were Matson’s Boat Days during the 1930s to ’60s, where massive vessels would unload their cargo of hundreds of visitors eager for a taste of the Hawaiian paradise they’d only cherished in dreams. Huge posters of the ads that sold the adventurers those dreams are also on display, teasing the viewer with promises of hula viewing, intoxicating flowers and ceremonial lei greetings.
A plaque describes the Boat Day excitement: “Hula and leis were in abundance and streamers overflowed the ship’s hull. The Royal Hawaiian Band played Song of the Islands and Hawaii Ponoi upon arrival and Aloha Oe upon departure. Young men dove for coins tossed over the ship’s railing. The ship’s passengers and the crowd dockside shouted ‘Aloha’ back and forth.”
Matson built the Royal Hawai-ian in 1927 for the purpose of entertaining the fleet’s passengers. A 1950 menu on display offers cocktails and mixed drinks from 60 cents to $1.50. A rushing breeze calls your attention to the view from the Coronet Lounge of Waikiki Beach with its pink umbrellas and just further off, the surfers gliding on waves. In that moment, a tingle up your spine tells you not much has changed in the past half century.
The pictures are on view through Jan. 31.