Plein air painter gives back to Maui canoe

Debra Huse, a professional plein air painter from California, is donating an original painting valued at $1,100 to Hui O Wa’a Kaulua, Maui’s voyaging society. The organization will auction the painting (unless it sells beforehand) at a yet-to-be-announced time after the Friday launch of the voyaging canoe, Mo’okiha o Pi’ilani, at Mala Wharf, according to an announcement.

Huse is a frequent participant in the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational every February.

“I was very pleased and honored to hear of this gift from one of our wonderful Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational artists and wanted to share the news with everyone on Maui,” said Lois Reiswig, president of the West Maui Cultural Council. “It illustrates the deep aloha visiting artists have for our island.”

Huse’s painting, “Launch the BIG Canoe” depicts the hale and its surf rental stand. Pictured at the stand is Lahaina waterman and Mo’okiha crew member Willy Shim.

“I hope all of the Maui community will turn out for the historic launch of Mo’okiha o Pi’ilani,” said Capt. Timi Gilliom. “After launch at Mala Wharf, we sail the canoe down to the mooring off Kamehameha Iki Park. The public is invited to come down and celebrate with us.”

Interested donors who wish to buy Huse’s painting at the full $1,100 value may email Hui O Wa’a Kaulua’s treasurer, Melanie Khau King, at