MAKAWAO - Nineteen-year-old Haiku resident Talia Gangini recently donated $3,000 raised through her Craft for the Cause project to the Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center's youth scholarship program. An avid stand-up paddler and Hui No'eau youth art program alumnus, Gangini gathered sponsorships for a solo paddling journey between Maui, Lanai and Molokai.
Gangini is an independent jewelry artist, avid Hui No'eau open studio user and alumnus of the center's youth art program. She enrolled in her first youth jewelry class at age 14, and in 2009, she became the youngest artist to have her work displayed on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. That same summer, Gangini also became the youngest girl to paddle in the Molokai to Oahu Championships, finishing with her team in first place.
Gangini said of her Craft for the Cause donation, "If I was going to make a difference, then I should probably start in my own hometown and community. I am so happy that I was able to make some kind of difference in a hope to give children of Maui the chance that I had, whether it be photography, silk screening, jewelry or painting. I can't wait to continue this each year and hope to give more."
Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center Youth Programs and Marketing Manager Kelly McHugh (from left), stand-up paddler and jewelry artist Talia Gangini, Hui No’eau Executive Director Caroline Killhour and Hui Noeau Board of Directors member John Hoxie stand in front of the Kaluanui Estate and Hui No’eau home.
LANA CORYELL photo
Hui No'eau provides a range of programs including public classes and visiting artist workshops, open studios, lectures, exhibitions, community art events, historical house tours and educational outreach programs with schools and community partner organizations. Its services are open to everyone, regardless of artistic aptitude or ability to pay tuition, according to a news release.
"Talia's act of philanthropy at such a young age is a true testament to the impact of arts education on our youth," said Hui Executive Director Caroline Killhour. "Now more than ever, as public arts funding is consistently the first to be cut in these tough economic times, it is so important to support initiatives like Talia's that keep these programs accessible to all - and continually shape positivity, self-expression and independence in our future leaders."
For more information, visit huinoeau.com.