Categorized | Education, Entertainment

Hawaii Nei 2009: Art contest celebrates native species

click on image above for prospectus PDF

click on image above for prospectus PDF

The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Natural Area Reserves System, the Volcano Art Center Gallery, and the Three Mountain Alliance watershed partnership are proud to present the first juried art exhibition on the island of Hawai‘i celebrating our native flora and fauna.

This exhibition is open to all residents of Hawai‘i County. Amateur and professional artists of all ages are encouraged to submit works of art celebrating the native plants, animals, and landscapes of the beloved island, our Hawai‘i Nei.  Entries are due May 29 and 31 at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani campus in Volcano Village.

The exhibition runs June 13 to August 2, 2009 at the Volcano Art Center Gallery. It will open on June 13 with a Keiki Reception from 2 to 4 p.m. for keiki artists and their families.   A formal reception will follow in the evening from 5 pm to 7 pm.   Art hikes, workshops, classes, and presentations will be available in months leading up to the opening.

“It’s always important to strengthen the connection between people and the environment,” said Laura H. Thielen, DLNR Chairperson.  “This contest encourages environmental awareness, stewardship, and hope in a time of economic uncertainty. The Department is proud to be a partner in this effort.”

 “We’re always looking for ways in which to involve people in native species conservation and we hope this event will bring community members in touch with the amazing treasures of our native ecosystems,” said Tanya Rubinstein, coordinator for the Three Mountain Alliance Watershed Partnership.

“We hope that the Hawai‘i Nei contest will become an annual event. We are looking forward to seeing work by artists, known and unknown, and especially young ones,” stated Fia Mattice, manager of the Volcano Art Center Gallery.

The contest is modeled after the annual Malama Wao Akua art contest which takes place on Maui and invites residents of Maui County to submit native species-themed artwork.

“After learning about the Malama Wao Akua art contest on Maui, I have wanted to do something similar on the Big Island, especially since there is such a talented artist community and amazing natural areas to explore,” said Colleen Cole, outreach and education specialist for the DLNR Natural Area Reserves program.

For more information, check out the website at or contact Colleen Cole at (808) 333-7741 or email for more details.

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