Association of Hawaii Artists (AHA) will hold 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 are invited to participate in the event to create on location and capture the wahi pana they feel about the place. The salon will display the results of the event and provide a comprehensive view of contemporary landscape art in the islands today. Wahi Pana: Sense of Place will expand the eyes of kama’aina, kanaka ma’oli and malihini alike as they rediscover 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 Avenue, 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 will challenge artists living and working in the islands to create art on-site at pre-determined locations over a period of 3 days. The locations will be enriched by having local cultural practioners share some mo’olelo about the particular location to prime the minds of the painters and then, they will go out to paint, draw, sculpt, etc… during the sessions. For example, in O’ahu, we will have groups painting in Waikiki following a historical walking tour, another group will meet on the Windward and a third on the West side of the island. We want to have at least one group/event on Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and the Big Island. The outdoor onsite art events and resulting exhibit will be open to all artists living in Hawai’i. The hope is that this will capture the sense of place as seen through the eyes of the artists and perhaps display a sense of the island aesthetic of wahi pana for landscape and portraiture from Hawai’i.

The public will be invited to come out to see the artists at work and even sign up for the pre-event of the cultural tour and lectures. Each participant will submit up to 3 pieces for the locations they selected and learned about for the exhibition. A panel of art critics and cultural practitioners will jury online the pieces that best exhibit wahi pana representing the diversity of the Hawaiian islands and a central salon space will sit in the center of the rest of the works to create an island for visitors to rest and talk story about their experiences with a particular location. A public lecture will be held on wahi pana and how it can inform plein air work, not only in Hawai’i but around the world. Each work will feature a QR code where the artist will have a 50 word description of their motivation for painting their subject—what makes that location compelling to them and their connection to it. The AHA Instagram and Facebook Accounts will be used to post updates and photos to engage the public. Visitors can post and share their connection to the locations depicted in the exhibition to share their stories.