Association of Hawaii Artists (AHA) held a three-day statewide open air art creation event (similar to a paint out, but open to 3D and other media as well) preceded by cultural training about the selected locations. Hawai’i resident artists were invited to participate in the event to create on location at selected wahi pana sites. The gallery is displaying the results of the event and provides a wide diversity of contemporary landscape art in the islands today. Wahi Pana: Sense of Place encouraged visitors and residents alike as they rediscovered familiar locales through different eyes, learn new history, and nourish a sense of curiosity and respect for places not yet seen.

DATES: May 31-July 5 2019
WHERE: Linekona Main Gallery, 1111 Victoria Street, Honolulu HI 96813

The same stretch of beach 100 years apart in time. Photos from Hawaii State Archive and Alfred Adler. Composite image by Wendy Roberts


This exhibition challenged artists living and working in the islands to create art on-site at a handfull of pre-determined locations over a period of 3 days. The locations were enriched by having local cultural practioners share some mo’olelo about the particular location to prime the minds of the painters and then, they went out to paint, draw, sculpt, etc… during the creation days. For example, in O’ahu, we had groups painting in Waikiki following a historical walking tour, the largest census of painters met at Kawainui on the Windward side, and a significant number of artists were inspired by the West side of the island. A few went to Kea`iwa Heiau in Aiea, and Thomas Square in Honolulu. We offered locations on Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and the Big Island, and despite the difficulties of mailing work, we were fortunate to add very talented contributing artists from Hawaii’s Big Island and Maui. The goal of the display was to capture the sense of place as seen through the eyes of the artists and perhaps display the island aesthetic.

The public was invited to come out to see the artists at work and sign up for the pre-event of the cultural tour and lectures. We did have attendance throughout the education events and creation days from non-artists. After the creation event, participating artists submitted up to 3 pieces. Dawn Yoshimura curated and designed the exhibit to display a diversity of locations, media, and styles. The gallery space was designed to look like a chain of islands with open space near the center for visitors to rest and talk story about their experiences. Public lectures and panels were held leading up to the exhibit to inform the public of the wahi pana lessons. Not only how it can inform plein air work, but how it can transform our understanding of the land and history.

In the gallery, each work featured a QR code where the artist has the images from the gallery available for those who cannot visit in person, plus the description of their motivation for painting their subject—what makes that location compelling to them and their connection to it.

The AHA Instagram and AHA Facebook accounts posted updates and photos to engage the public leading up and during the exhibition. Visitors were encouraged to browse, post, and share their connection to the locations depicted in the exhibition. We welcome our visitors to continue to share their stories. Post your pictures and stories to #wahi-pana #associationofhawaiiartists #dawnyoshimurastudio to share with the wahi-pana.com stream.