Last month forty thousand Hawaii Tribune Herald readers voted the East Hawaii Cultural Center “Best Gallery of East Hawaii”! Emblematic of our new identity within the community is the great success of our First Friday events, where hundreds gather for dancing, celebration, food and music in surreal evenings on the front porch of the Center.
In the last two months the Gallery has hosted the Hawaii Photography Exhibition, and Hawaii Contemporary Artists, with invited artist Monika Mann commenting poignantly on the theme of Home and Homelessness in our community. We set aside the Makai Gallery for an homage to our departed friend, Randy Takaki. Family, friends, and fellow artists spent long moments in the entrancing installation created by Andrzej Kramarz. Randy supported and inspired so many of us during his four decades exhibiting and installing at EHCC. We are planning a monograph for him created over the coming year.
Bridget Paulson opened her creation, Space: a ‘concept shop’ at the Center, featuring art, craft and design integrated in a living, evolving environment. For December we intend to expand Bridget’s vision to encompass the entire Main Gallery in a collaboration between Hawaii designers and the fine art and craft communities. The store is managed by a group of dedicated, friendly volunteers.
In September we feature Idiosyncratic Fields, a unique collection of works by artists from West Hawaii curated by Hawaii Living Treasure, Hiroki Morinoue. This signals our invitation to artists of our entire island community to join us in creating an inclusive venue for culture and art here in Hilo. Also we will begin a series celebrating the making of tea in various cultures. We begin with Tea Practitioner Phillipe Nault and traditional Japanese Tea ceremony.
The volunteers who make up our organization are the stewards of this heritage. They are maintaining our facility as well as collectively creating our future through their vision and effort. I’d like to welcome Christina Fisher to our team. Bringing her vast experience in community arts organizations to our fledgling venture, she offers us leadership and direction toward realizing the East Hawaii Cultural Center’s real potential as a convening place for our diverse community.