East Maui Watershed Partnership (EMWP) and Viewpoints Gallery's eighth annual juried art exhibition, Malama Wao Akua 2012 (MWA '12), are holding their opening on Friday, Aug. 17, in conjunction with the Makawao Friday Town Party.
Local Maui artists whose entries were selected by this year's jurors, Connie J. Adams and Dr. Art Medeiros, have depicted a variety of Maui's native flora and fauna. The public is invited to stroll around the gallery with the jurors starting at 4 p.m. and stay for the blessing and awards at 5 p.m.
The origins of MWA began in a class taught by Adams, then, an EMWP outreach and education liaison. Kat Lui attended her class with the idea of combining her passion of art and conservation.
Julie Peterson earned the Mālama Wao Akua 2011 Jurors’ Choice Award with “Palm Frond.”
"However, the whole idea for this exhibit really began when I told her [Kat] of an environmental exhibit that I co-chaired in Saipan years ago," said Adams. "I said it was a huge success with many artists making statements about the environment with their art work."
Viewpoints Gallery in Makawao agreed to hold the show and the first exhibit went on display in 2004. Artwork then became the means of telling the story of Maui's various native species. Hikes and tours previous to the show were then created to get artists outside to learn about the environment as they took on the challenge to create for the show. The show has been such a success, that after Lui's departure from EMWP as its outreach and education liaison in 2010, the show continued.
"I think it is wonderful that it is now an annual event," said Adams.
Additions were made to the show in 2010, including "Talk Story Thursdays," when EMWP hosts a different environmental expert each Thursday at Viewpoints Gallery throughout the show. See "Talk Story Thursdays" sidebar on page 11.)
The exhibit will be on display through Sept. 16.
Viewpoints Gallery is located at 3620 Baldwin Ave. in Makawao. Call (808) 572-5979 for more information.
Created in 1991, EMWP was the first watershed partnership formed in the State of Hawai'i. The 114,000-acre East Maui watershed produces over 60 billion gallons of water a year and is home to many rare and endangered native species. EMWP is committed to protecting the watershed and preserving native species.