Fine art contest celebrating ulu


The beautiful ulu tree once played a major role in the spiritual and cultural life of Hawaiians and it was a key staple food and a source of wood, craft materials and medicine.

Ulu is easily grown and Hawaiians had large field systems that integrated ulu with other crops including kalo (taro), uala (sweet potato), maia (banana), ko (sugarcane) and other important crops.

In a mauka region of Kona there was a band of ulu trees one-half mile wide and 18 miles long called the kalu ulu that produced as much as 36,000 tons of ulu fruit per year. Other important ulu groves were located in North Kohala, Hilo, and Puna.

Ulu is also nutritionally and culturally important throughout the Pacific (including for the thousands of non-Hawaiian Pacific islanders who make Hawaii their home).

Modern nutritional analysis shows ulu to be a highly nutritious food that can be prepared in a variety of ways compatible with both traditional and modern tastes.

For hundreds of years before Western contact, traditional Hawaiian breadfruit groves were capable of providing the food value to sustain tens of thousand of people. Today, few of these trees remain.

Today, Hawaii imports about 90 percent of its food, making it one of the most food insecure states in the nation. Additionally, since the economic downturn of 2008, many families in Hawaii lack access to affordable and nutritious food.

The Hooulu ka Ulu project believes that breadfruit is a key to solving Hawaii’s food security problems.

Hooulu ka Ulu is a project to revitalize ulu (breadfruit) as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable, and culturally appropriate food which addresses Hawaii’s food security issues.

Breadfruit Festival and Fine Art Contest

Hawaii Homegrown Food Network, the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, are presenting “Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas” 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona.

In addition to celebrating the cultural and culinary aspects of breadfruit (ulu), this year’s festival will also highlight breadfruit’s forest companion—banana (maia).

The Fine Art Contest is a part of the educational outreach associated with the festival, celebrating the beauty of the tree and fruit as well as the rich cultural heritage and future role of ulu in Hawaii.

The artwork of finalists will be displayed at Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas. The first place winner will receive a cash prize.


Artists can be amateur or professional, and must be:

* Full-time residents of Hawaii County
* 18 years of age or older. (A separate youth art contest is for school-age students.)


* Art piece must be original work by artist—no prints or giclee.
* Photographs are welcome, printed on any medium.
* Artists can submit up to two (2) images for consideration.
* Work must not have been previously shown in any other exhibition, gallery, or website.
* Any 2D media.


The main subject of the artwork must be ulu (breadfruit) in Hawaii. This year, artwork may also integrate maia (banana), but ulu must be predominant.

Some possible themes are:

* Tree, fruit and/or leaf
* The kalu ulu—past, present or future
* Ulu in Hawaiian culture: Hawaiian mythology and Olelo Noeau
* Culture and history of ulu in Hawaii
* Ulu in a native mixed species system
* Traditional and/or modern people interacting with ulu
* Traditional uses of ulu (ulumaika, woodworking, gum)
* Preparing and eating ulu
* The future of ulu in Hawaii
* Traditional agroforestry

Rights and Sales

The winning artwork may be reproduced into a fine art poster, with graphics, for sale at Breadfruit Festivals and beyond. All proceeds from sales will go to the Hawaii Homegrown Food Network to support the Hooulu ka Ulu project.

By submitting an artwork, entrants agree that the winning artist grants Hawaii Homegrown Food Network the exclusive and unrestricted rights to reproduce and use the image in perpetuity, without compensation.

By submitting an artwork, all entrants agree to grant Hawaii Homegrown Food Network permission to post the image online on the art contest web page, without compensation. Clear credit will be given to the artist and link to artist website will be posted if artist provides a website.

Original artwork will remain the property of the artist and clear credit will be given to the artist in all reproductions.

Finalists are required to list their piece for sale at the Breadfruit Festival. If artwork is sold during the exhibit the commission would be split as follows: 60% to the artist and 40% to the Hooulu ka Ulu project (Hawaii Homegrown Food Network). Artists can also choose to donate their portion of the proceeds as a tax-deductible gift.

Registration and Submittal

The deadline for registration is Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, by which time we must have your complete online submission form.

Artists must then drop off their work at the Donkey Mill Art Center during the period of Sept. 18-21, 2012, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Artwork must be labeled on the back with name of artist and name of work.

All artwork will be transported to and displayed at Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas on Sept. 29, where it must be picked up by the artist at the end of the day.

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