Maui artist Noble Richardson has won over the crowds at the Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2009, earning him the Marian Freeman People's Choice Award and $5,000 prize.
Richardson is one of 53 artists in the statewide juried exhibit showing now at the gallery. More than 2,000 exhibit visitors cast their votes since the exhibit opened Jan. 6 to select the winner of the prize. Other artists with the top votes were Karen Mortenson, Kirk Kurokawa, Charlie Lyon and Edwin Kayton.
Richardson's "A?Noble Simulacrum" is a self-portrait that finds inspiration in the harsh realities of growing up on Maui.
Artist Noble Richardson (right) joins Marian
Freeman to celebrate his Marian Freeman People’s Choice Award.
"It becomes a portrait of hope for victims of hard times, and justice that turns its cheek to the frost that blights the valley of Wailuku known as 'Happy,' " he writes in his artist's statement.
An award reception was held on Monday at the gallery. The Marian Freeman People's Choice Award is made possible by the generosity of Gage Schubert, given in the name of Marian Freeman, who has been an exhibiting artist on Maui for over 30 years. Freeman was also one of the founders of Art Maui.
The exhibit is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and also before and during performances at the Castle Theater, through Sunday.
Portions of the exhibit will be displayed at The Contemporary Museum at First Hawaiian Center in Honolulu from May 29 to Sept. 8.
* * *
One person's trash is another person's art. That's the idea behind the upcoming "Art of Trash, Maui 2009" exhibit set to open in May at Maui Mall. Presented by Community Work Day and SharingAloha, the show will feature discarded objects that have been brought back to life.
Founder and creator of several trash shows, Ira Ono, will be the juror for this popular exhibition. Ono started "The Trash Show" in Hilo in 1991 and on Maui in 1996. The last "Art of Trash" was in 2003.
"I have heard from so many Maui artists encouraging us to do another recycled materials trash show," reports Ono. "We are looking forward to a celebration that has been in the making for many years!"
Artists may submit their work no later than May 16, 2009. Entry forms will be available at all public libraries in March. For details, contact exhibit coordinator Wilma Nakamura at 573-3911.
* * *
Maui Hands Gallery will present the work of Carla Crow beginning Friday to March 19. Join the artist for an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the gallery, 84 Hana Highway in Paia.
Crow has lived and painted on Maui since 1984 and has developed statewide recognition for her unique personal vision expressed through acrylic on bark paper. iKONS is a new series of paintings on bark paper and canvas. Crow describes them as "Tribal Techno" and explains that they evolved after getting her first computer one year ago. These pieces weren't produced using digital methods, but instead were inspired by her journey into cyberspace.
For details, call the gallery at 579-9245.
* * *
Artist Steven Lee Smeltzer will be the featured artist this week from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Images Fine Art Gallery in Lahaina.
Smeltzer, who has lived on Maui for more than 30 years, creates whimsical sculptures that convey a sense of personality and aliveness. His humorous sculptures are made primarily of clay but he does work with bronze and "dabbles" in painting.
Images Gallery is located on Front Street directly behind the Hard Rock Cafe. For details, call 214-0885 or visit www.imagesinc.com.