In the Loop

Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center continues its holiday magic

A fresh handmade wreath (above) is a highly coveted item available for purchase at the Hui No‘eau gift shop. -- Photo courtesy Hui No‘eau

There’s nothing like seeing a grand dame putting on her finery and the centenarian Kaluanui, home to the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center at 2841 Baldwin Ave., Makawao, has done just that.

Hui Holidays, the highly anticipated annual event continues at the historic estate through Dec. 24. Christmas lights sparkle like fairies flitting about amidst all the beautiful holiday decorations showcasing the exquisite, handmade, unique gift items available for purchase. And while shopping, it’s hard to ignore the lure of a bauble or two to reward yourself for your hard work finding that perfect gift for your loved ones.

Of course, you’ll find jewelry galore –as jewelry aficionados know, the Hui has some of the island’s most exceptional handmade jewelry. But you’ll also find locally made-on-Maui food items, hand-painted scarfs, highly coveted handmade wreaths, quilted blankets, wall hangings, original watercolors and oils. Additionally, there are limited edition prints, pottery mugs, cups, bowls, vessels, blown-glass items, mosaic pictures and wood-turned pieces.

Without question, the artisan and crafters at the Hui have outdone themselves again with the riches they’ve created throughout the year and specifically for the holiday season.

“We love Hui Holidays because gifts purchased at the Hui are truly gifts that keep on giving,” explained Erin Wooldridge, director of development and membership. “Purchases support Maui’s local artists, artisans and crafters, and proceeds support year-long visual arts education programs at the Hui No’eau.”

The 2017 Hui Holidays paper dress created by celebrated MAMo-designer Koa Johnson of Kojo Couture and Ry-n Shimabuku. -- The Maui News / CATHERINE KENAR photo

New this year, the Hui will be offering pop-up night shopping from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Dec. 6, 13 and 20. During these special late hours, pop-up vendors will be on-site, many for that night only. Additionally, during the Wednesday pop-up nights, from 4 to 5 p.m., special keiki workshops are planned. While mom, dad or older siblings are doing their holiday shopping, the littles can be kept busy making snowflake ornaments with Julie Matheis on Wednesday; making their own snowpeople with Katie Peterson on Dec. 13; and making their own floral wreaths with Peterson on Dec. 20. These keiki workshops have a cost of $10 for tuition and supplies, but that’s way less than a sitter would cost.

Be sure to take a drive up to historic Kaluanui and immerse yourself in a wonderland shopping experience.

Also, during this month, the Hui will be presenting a new program called “Art with Aloha,” which encompasses demonstrations and workshops.

Lufi Luteru, a kupaaina from Makaha Valley on Oahu, is a Hawaiian maoli weaver and jewelry designer. Luteru will be hosting a talk story and art demo from 10 a.m. to noon followed by a lauhala star ornament workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 15. From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 16, she will be leading a lauhala bracelet workshop.

Then, Lloyd Kumula’au Sing Jr. and May Haunani Balino-Sing, a husband-and-wife cultural force, will be presenting a talk story session and demo from 5 to 6 p.m. Dec. 20; a Hawaiian basketry workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22; a “Teach the Teachers: Professional Development” workshop about printing for indigenous consciousness from 10 a.m. to noon, Dec. 27 (tuition is free for “Teach the Teachers”); and a final workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 28 and 29 on Hinalea fish traps.

And don’t forget, once you leave the Hui (and the staff will make you; apparently no matter how much you plead, you cannot stay past closing), make a left turn out of the driveway and continue along Baldwin Avenue into Makawao where you can continue your holiday shopping in the town’s many art galleries and locally-owned boutiques.

For more information about the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center and its Hui Holidays, or to register for the “Art with Aloha” programs, call 572-6560 or visit