You’ve seen it around town. It’s a bird, it’s a truck … no wait, it’s a bird on a truck. The large, moving canvas, packed with paintings ready to be displayed at Art+Flea, Honolulu Night Market, the side of the road in Waimanalo and just about any venue, is the concept of entrepreneur Adair Hill. He got a van, had some of Hawaii’s prominent street artists like Beak McFlaps, known for his bird images, and youth mentor Estria splash their signature works across its exterior and he was set to roll.
Without pricey rent overhead, “I can pass more of the sale on to the artists and because of that, they can sell their art for less,” notes Hill, who sells the pieces on a consignment basis. “I’m bringing the art out of the gallery district to Waimanalo, to Eat the Street — places where people wouldn’t go hunting for something to decorate their walls with. The magic of the Art Truck (672-2947, arttruckhawaii.com), is helping artists get the art to people who would not typically go get it.”
Last month marked two years of Hill’s brand of “street art,” which feeds a predominantly local market that nevertheless thrives on Hawaii-themed works. Hill, an artist himself, represents hundreds of local, global and student artists, with fresh art constantly filtering in and priced from $5 to $350. He pulls up at an event, gets out his tables and racks, brings out the art and voila! — a pop-up gallery. He also makes house visits so people can test paintings on their walls before buying them.
Hill found inspiration for the mobile vending concept where enlightened people have found answers throughout history: in the Far East. In China after earning his MBA, Hill thought, what next?
“I had a burning desire to do something that hadn’t been done, something fun that improves the world around me. I decided to do it in Hawaii, where the weather makes for a year-round festival season.”
However, it hasn’t all been a fiesta for Hill. He knew tropical sunshine would come with rain, but he hadn’t bargained on fierce winds that readily rip and throw precious artwork.
Next up, Hill has considered shipping the truck to Neighbor Islands for some “cross-pollination of art,” or joked about starting up an Art Boat. His intrepid combination of business sense and creativity keep him envisioning the next challenge, perhaps a second Art Truck, he says, adding that the truck is but one chapter in his lively life. “I’m ready to go start more things. My ultimate plan is to let somebody else carry on the good that Art Truck is doing.”
Meanwhile, he’s managing to do exactly what he set out to do: “The idea of the truck is that it’s a vehicle to transfer … to be cheesy, love. Art Truck is a way to transfer this emotion, this passion from the people who put it into their painting, to the people who ‘feel it’ as well. My job is to find them the perfect piece, something they love.”
Drive-in theaters belong to a bygone era, but there still is a way to relish evening breezes under the night stars with a loved one, while taking in the magic of an outdoor screen. Last month an open-air cinema series premiered in Kakaako, with food trucks, free popcorn and the screening of Italian surf film Bella Vita at Ward Village Courtyard (1240 Ala Moana Blvd).
The event will repeat itself the second Thursday of each month, though July’s showing will be Wednesday, July 9. Next on the lineup is Ping Pong Summer, a comedy released this year starring Susan Sarandon. It’s an ’80s throwback about a young misfit named Rad who is obsessed with ping pong and hip-hop. Films will be matched up with speakers or themed activities, and for Ping Pong guests are encouraged to don their, like, totally most tubular ’80s wear, with a pre-show costume contest and prizes.
Entry is free with a ticket reserved online at wardvillagecourtyardcinema.com, until the 450-person capacity is reached. The premiere readily filled the waiting lines of lawn chairs and spilled, picnic-style, onto the ground. A walk-in rush line will take care of any extra space after ticket-holders are seated. Films shown are curated by HIFF for the purpose of showcasing a range of family-appropriate themes from around the globe.
Event host is The Howard Hughes Corporation, which invites the public to learn more about Ward Village, the company’s new urban master-planned community for Ward Centers that will develop over the next 10 years. The site of cinematic excitement is in the courtyard of the IBM building, the heart of the Ward Village project, and an information center about the project will be open during the movie screening.
“We had been looking for an opportunity to host a community event at Ward Village,” says Katie Ka’anapu, Howard Hughes’ senior marketing manager. “We are thrilled to form a partnership with Hawaii International Film Festival to provide the public with a fulfilling cultural, educational and entertaining experience.”