For the third year, Pu‘uhonua Society’s Maoli Arts Alliance is presenting its juried contemporary art exhibition “Contact 2016.” The exhibition features new and recent artworks by Hawaii’s contemporary artists, and is the only show of its kind in the islands.
Selected artworks explore themes of “Contact,” cultural exchange and migratory movements, many of them reflecting on personal narratives of heritage and connection. This year’s show is titled “Foreign and Familiar.”
Jurors are expected to select work by over 80 submissions in a wide variety of media from over 50 artists for the exhibition. On view at the Honolulu Museum of Art School from March 24 to April 17, 2016, “Contact 2016” also includes a series of free programs, including lectures, panel discussions, and films, designed to complement the show.
Since its inception, “Contact” has quickly established itself as one of the leading platforms for contemporary island artists to exhibit their work.
“’Contact’ enables the production and display of contemporary art made local and Native Hawaiian artists… many of whom would not otherwise have the opportunity to publicly exhibit their work,” said Maile Meyer, executive director of Pu‘uhonua Society.
This year’s show will include seven new artworks commissioned for “Contact 2016” supported by funding from grant sponsors, and will also feature a number of site‐specific works.
In this year’s call for artists, exhibition curators Herman Piʻikea Clark and Isabella Ellaheh Hughes implored artists to think about the intersection between the foreign and the familiar and the relationship between intimacy and interdependence that has come to define Hawaii as a place, a people, and a 21st century society.
Hughes said, “It is an honor to be serving with Pi‘ikea as one of this year’s jurors for “Contact.” The thematic approach results in an exhibition format that offers a great sense of curatorial cohesion and breadth… particularly distinctive for a juried show. This year, ‘Contact’ is thematically linked through a focus on the concepts of ‘Foreign and Familiar,’ and in turn, how these concepts have impacted artists’ own relationships with Hawaii and the socio‐cultural, political, ecological and economic landscape of the Islands.”
Hughes and Clark are particularly interested in artists imbuing their work with elements of their own personal histories and experiences. Some of the confirmed “Contact” artists include Bernice Akamine, Linny Morris, Sonny Ganaden, Joshua Lake, Paradise Cove, Jerry Vasconcellos, and Kaui Chun. Artists who have exhibited in previous “Contact” shows include ʻImaikalani Kalahele, Solomon Enos, Kalani Largusa, Marika Emi, Drew Broderick, Marques Marzan, Charlton Kūpaʻ a Hee, Les Filter Feeders (Sally Lundburg and Keith Tallett), Cory Taum, Kahiau Beamer, Kahi Ching, Kazu Kauinana, Russell Sunabe, Hanale Hopfe, Momi Greene, Meala Bishop, Meleanna Meyer, Nanea Lum, Dalani Tanahy, Harinani Orme, Debbie Young, Jan Becket, Peter Shepard Cole, Auliʻ i Mitchell, Tamara Leiokanoe Moan, KC Grennan, Kamran Samimi, and Erin Marquez.
“Contact 2016” is made possible by generous funding from the Atherton Family Foundation, Cooke Foundation, Hawaii Tourism Authority, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs, as well as through the kind support from its partners: Honolulu Museum of Art School, Nā Mea Hawaii, and WCIT Architecture.
The “Contact” exhibition is organized by Maoli Arts Alliance (MAʻA) an initiative of Pu‘uhonua Society. For more information, please visit www.contacthawaii.com.