Artist, architect receives grant to create artwork for Kalama school

An artist and architect who attended Maui schools was awarded a $100,000 grant to create a major piece of art at Kalama Intermediate School.

Matthew Salenger of Kihei and Tempe, Ariz., was selected out of 80 artists for the grant, through the Hawaii State Foundation for the Arts. The Kalama Arts Advisory Committee interviewed five finalists last year and selected Salenger, Kalama art teacher Beverly Barnard said.

The entire scope of the project will last two to three years and includes a teaching component and working with students, school staff and community members as well as creating the piece of art, a news release from the school said.

Salenger was at the school from March 24 to April 4, working with 6th- and 7th-grade art students in exploring possible sites for the art, measuring and drawing scale models and meeting and introducing them to the process of planning and developing public artworks. He also gathered input from school staff and the community.

A reception was held April 4 for the artist to meet members of the Makawao community.

The final design will be completed and approved by the State Foundation for the Arts by July, said Barnard.

Salenger, a member of the American Institute of Architects, is a partner at colab studio, which calls itself a cooperative-laboratory for art and architecture. The studio has won more than 25 major design awards for residential and commercial architecture and public art.

He is on the Arizona Phoenix Metro American Institute of Architects and Roosevelt Row executive boards and has served on the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art advisory and acquisition committees. He also co-founded Urban Choices Group, a group of professionals dedicated to creating thriving and livable downtown areas in Arizona.

Salenger attended Lihikai and Pukalani elementary schools, Seabury Hall, Arizona State University and The Architectural Association of London.