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HPU Gallery Explores Maoli Art’s Meaning

Kanaka maoli artists explore the convergence of art, teaching and learning in Hawaii, as well as the world, in “MAP (Maoli, Art, & Pedagogy),” an exhibition from Sept. 30 to Nov. 16 at Hawaii Pacific University’s art gallery in Kaneohe.

The artwork attempts to define the role of the maoli artist in the day and age of pop-culture saturation and “cookie-cutter aesthetics.” They treat the piko, heiau, the human body and ki‘i as powerful symbolic sites of engagement that inter- sect with institutional and commercial culture.

“I think the exhibition is indicative of HPU’s deep engagement and philosophical commitment to the socio-cultural fabric of Oceania and Hawaii,” said Pete Britos, HPU professor and director of media arts who is part of the show.

“Hawaiian art is a foundational pillar for our communities, and needs to be better addressed by our K-12 and university educational institutions,” he added.

“HPU is doing that in a focused way with this inaugural exhibition and other symposiums like our Native Hawaiian Speaker Series.”

Also featured are Carl F.K. Pao, Meleanna Meyer, Al Lagunero, Harnani Orme and Kahi Ching, working in mediums of film and television, paper, canvas, oil acrylic, murals, illustration, bonsai, rock, wood, photography and more.

Their works are on view hanging at museums and galleries, and they’ve taught at schools and universities here and on the Mainland.

Also participating are anthropologist Lynette Cruz and kumu hula and genealogist Cy Bridges.

The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. For more information, call 544-0228.