Art Maui is back - and just as strong as ever - at Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Schaefer International Gallery in Kahului.
Organizers are gearing up for the Monday opening of the county's largest juried exhibition. The show will extend normal Schaefer gallery hours to be open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"I think people will really be impressed," said show chairwoman Chris Scharein. "I'm impressed with the artist community; I'm impressed with our juror; I'm impressed with all our volunteers who helped bring the show together. It doesn't come together unless all of those things are in place."
Local artist Cudra Clover’s “Wai‘ele (waterfall),” silk, 80-by-52 inches, was among 143 other pieces chosen for 2012 Art Maui at Schaefer International Gallery, opening to the public Monday.
Art Maui 2012 had 513 submissions from 327 Maui County artists, Scharein said. A total of 144 pieces by 128 artists was selected.
While installation works were accepted for consideration in this year's show, solo juror Tom Klobe did not select any of them, Scharein said.
Some complaints last year arose out of the decision by Art Maui's board to restrict installation pieces from 2011 display.
Scharein said that this year's show is as "high caliber" as usual, and that Klobe, one of the founders of Art Maui, sifted through each submission and made thorough assessments: "I think that's special and unique for a juror to do."
She added that the show, as a whole, is eclectic.
"I don't think you get a theme so much as you get a showcase of art as a special representation of our community," Scharein said.
New to Art Maui is this year's student art scholarship program, which will award three local high school seniors with $2,500 apiece.
Twelve students submitted portfolios for consideration, Scharein said. Three student winners will be named during a juror's walkthrough event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 14 at the gallery. The public is invited to attend and meet the juror, ask questions and recognize the students.
The scholarship program "is a way to give back and promote the arts starting with our kids," Scharein said. "Hopefully as they grow and develop as artists, they will come back to the community and hopefully submit to Art Maui in the future."
She said that Art Maui has always wanted to offer scholarships for students, but the tough economy coupled with costs for the annual show made it a challenge.
"We went back and built up our financial structure," and now the program can award scholarships, she said.
Art Maui is a nonprofit organization with an all-volunteer board that has produced the exhibition for 34 years and has rented Schaefer for the exhibition for more than 13 years. Art Maui encourages the purchase of works by the public throughout the exhibition, including the private Purchase Pledge Preview Event prior to the public opening. In addition, the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts will also consider purchases from the exhibition.
The first Art Maui show, founded by a local group of professional artists, was held in 1979.
A reception for the 2012 artists and their family and friends will be held Friday. The show opens to the public Monday and will continue through April 20.
For more information and to view the full list of 2012 selected artists, visit artmaui.com.
- Kehaulani Cerizo