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Paint-Out Invitational

June 25, 2009
Sky Barnhart

There’s nothing like 150 years of history to bring about inspiration. Beautiful ‘Ulupalakua—once a retreat for ali‘i and still the domain of paniolo—will serve as the kick-off site for the second annual 4th of July Makawao Paint-Out Invitational.

On Sunday, June 28, some of the island’s finest artists will fan out across the grounds of Maui’s Winery and ‘Ulupalakua Ranch Store to paint en plein air. Their subject matter might be the rustic lanai of the ranch store, the path leading up to the King’s Cottage Tasting Room, a rolling green pasture, or a century-old tree.

“As long as it’s on those premises, they are free to paint whatever they want,” said Oliver Perz, director of Viewpoints Gallery, which is coordinating the free, monthlong series of plein air events.

Equipped with easel, brushes and medium of choice (typically oil paints, pastels or watercolors), the artists will attempt to capture the essence of the scene—working in shifting lighting in the midst of music, talking, laughter and a steady stream of onlookers. “It amazes me they can paint and talk at the same time!” Perz said.

It’s a skill born of experience—these are veteran artists who have been working with the Makawao gallery over the last 20 years, according to Perz. Most are from Maui, with a few from the Neighbor Islands and O‘ahu.

“Some of the artists are strong in painting a scene, like a beach; some are strong in capturing details, something small like a flower… so they really complement each other,” Perz said.

The kick-off event at ‘Ulupalakua is also a celebration of a new wine called “Mele” just released by Tedeschi Vineyards. The wine’s label features the artwork of Jack Hamilton, an ‘Ulupalakua artist who painted the piece at last year’s inaugural plein air event.

Paula Hegele, president of Maui’s Winery, and Diana Azevedo, ‘Ulupalakua Ranch administrative manager, are thrilled to host the kick-off as one of ‘Ulupalakua’s traditional “Sunday Drive” events. “There are so many special places here for the artists to discover and bring alive on canvas,” Hegele said. “We can’t wait to see what they create!”

The kick-off runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with free wine tasting and tours, and lunch specials available for purchase. Maui musicians Fulton Tashombe and Kelly Covington will perform from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the winery, and Ron Kuala‘au will perform from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the store.

And ‘Ulupalakua is just the beginning… Subsequent plein air events will take artists “from crater to coast,” Perz said, with paint-outs at idyllic venues like O‘o Farm, Ali‘i Kula Lavender, Pi‘iholo Ranch and the Grand Wailea. All events are free and open to the public.

“We want to keep the excitement going throughout the month,” Perz said. “It’s a way for everyone to participate, where the community can meet the artists and see what’s created right on location.”

Events include: Kick-Off at ‘Ulupalakua on Sunday, June 28; Harvest Day at O‘o Farm on Tuesday, June 30; a Grand Wailea Day at the Grand Wailea on Wednesday, July 1; Quick Draw at Makawao Town Parade on Saturday, July 4; Summer Colors at Ali‘i Kula Lavender Farm on Saturday, July 11; and A Paniolo Day at Pi‘iholo Ranch on Saturday, July 18.

Participating artists are: George Allan, Pamela Andelin, Susie Anderson, Margaret Bedell, Judy Bisgard, Roxanne Broadbent, Jan Bushart, Mike Carroll, Michael Clements, Joseph Fletcher, Jack Hamilton, Julie Houck, Carleton Kinkade, Sue Perry, Pam Peterson, Jamie Roth, Jan Shaner, Jim Stewart, Debbie von Tempsky, Martha Haulani Vockroot, and guest artist and juror Mark Norseth.

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