Paia Contemporary Gallery will unveil its first 2012 exhibition featuring new works by award-winning artists Michael Kessler of Santa Fe, N.M., and McKay Otto of Wimberly, Texas. A public reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday; the show continues through April 4.
Both painters are recognized in the U.S. and abroad, and their pieces have been shown in scores of exhibitions.
Kessler's awards include the Rome Prize for Painting from the American Academy in Rome in 1990 and a Pollock/Krasner Award in Painting in 1992. His work has been featured in 150 solo exhibitions since 1983, and his paintings appear in more than 20 U.S. museum collections, including the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Michael Kessler’s “Inula,” 24-by-36 inches
"I see my work as a metaphor for nature - about wondering how it (nature) got that way, realizing that we may never find out," Kessler said in a gallery release.
Otto's work has been featured in more than 90 exhibitions nationally and internationally since 1989. His awards and grants include the 2008 Hunting Art Prize finalist, and he is one of only two artists mentored by famous abstract reductionist Agnes Martin.
"This current body of work may serve as a metaphor for humanity's capacity to transcend itself," Otto said in the release.
Gallery director Lauren Harris said both artists will create a not-to-miss experience for viewers: "These artists ask us to look deeper . . . into nature, into ourselves, and into the work that has transpired from inspiration."
Paia Contemporary Gallery, which holds tri-annual receptions, specializes in abstract, contemporary artwork created by a core group of Hawaii artists, alongside national, and international established talents. The gallery, open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and by appointment, is located at 83 Hana Highway. Call 579-8444 or visit www.paiacontemporarygallery.com.
Julie Houck's latest series of "storm" original oil paintings will be featured at Images Fine Art in Lahaina. Meet the artist during a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday.
A contemporary landscape painter, Houck is known for her dramatic portrayals of Maui's cane fields and north shore seascapes. The artist received training in classical ateliers in San Francisco and France, and is member of American Impressionist Society, Plein Air Painters of Hawaii and International Plein Air Painters.
Images Fine Art Gallery is located at 900 Front St., behind the Hard Rock Cafe. Call 662-0884 or email email@example.com.
Macario Pascual's annual exhibition of recent work will open with a public reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Village Galleries, 120 Dickenson St., Lahaina. The exhibition continues through March 22. Call 661-4402 or visit www.villagegalleriesmaui.com.
Schaefer International Gallery's popular triennial exhibition, Schaefer Portrait Challenge, named Maui artist Jonathan Yukio Clark its Marian Freeman People's Choice Award winner Feb. 18.
The prize is $5,000 donated by Gage Schubert and is determined by public vote taken at the gallery during the juried exhibition. Nearly 2,000 votes were cast over five weeks, according to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Second place was Kirk Kurokawa of Maui; sharing a position for third were Hoaka Delos Reyes and Wilton Leauanae, also from Maui.
Clark, who created a mixed media portrait titled "Grandma's Story," also received the top prize: the $15,000 Jurors' Choice Award, donated by Carolyn and Jack Schaefer Gray.
The Schaefer Portrait Challenge continues at the MACC in Kahului through March 11.