HINA: Visual artists call to action


Launched eight weeks ago by Volcano Art Center, the Hawaii Island Network of Artists is working to create useful and enriching connections for visual artists.

Inspired by the National Endowment of Arts statistic that states Hawaii ranks No. 3 of the 50 states with fine artists and craftspeople, VAC launched the HINA project to learn about the economic and social impact artists have on the island.

“Hawaii Island artists are an economic driver for our County and collectively these artists make up an unrecognized creative workforce,” said Tanya Aynessazian, VAC’s chief executive officer.
“The NEA report says that 15 out of every 10,000 residents is an artist. Given our involvement in this community, we are certain Hawaii Island has far more than 270 visual artists.”

This year-long project consists of two key components:

* A survey to count and understand the economic and social contributions of local artists

* A website to act as a marketing tool and resource directory to further the project’s impact and provide immediate benefit to local artists. Each artist who takes the survey and holds a GET license can choose to have a free personal web page with a link to his/her website or contact info on www.HINArtists.org

Over the next six months, the HINA project is continuing to host community meetings in each district of the island, including Wednesday, Oct. 24 at UH Hilo.

With three meetings under their belts, Aynessazian and HINA project manager, Tiffany DeEtte Shafto, are grateful for the response to the project.

“I’m very excited about what this project will do for our creative community,” DeEtte Shafto said. “It’s not enough to know Hawaii Island has more than 270 visual artists; we need to prove it.”

DeEtte Shafto has set a goal of representing 150 artists on the HINA website before she starts marketing the project to major media outlets.

“And to do that, we need the help of individual artists,” she said. “If you’re a visual artist, all you have to do is download the survey on our website, fill it out and send it in. Our project funding is finite. We need help from our artist community to reach our goal of 150 participating artists before the end of the year.”

Visual artists and art collectors are invited to attend the free community meetings to learn more about the project, as well as discuss the needs of local artists.

Future meetings are scheduled as follows:

* 5:30-7 p.m., Oct. 24: University of Hawaii Hilo, Room UCB 127, Hilo

* 5:30-7 p.m., Nov. 7: NHERC, 45-539 Plumeria Street, Honokaa

* 5:30-7 p.m., Nov. 15: Kohala Intergenerational Center, 54-3853 Akoni Pule Highway, Kapaau

* 5:30-7 p.m., Jan. 24: SKEA, 84-5191 Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook

* 5:30-7 p.m., Feb. 7: Donkey Mill Art Center, 78-6670 Mamalahoa Highway, Holualoa

* 5:30-7 p.m. March 7: Naalehu Community Center, 95-5635 Mamalahoa Highway, Naalehu

Artists have only six more months to get involved and show the collective impact they make on the island. The opportunity to be added to the website and be included in the planned print catalog closes on April 15, 2013 when the data compilation begins.

Hawaii Island Network of Artists is supported in part with funding from Hawaii County. Volcano Art Center (VAC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1974 to develop, promote and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii’s people through the arts and education.

To download the survey or discover talented artists, visit: www.HINArtists.org

For further information, email info@HINArtists.org or call Volcano Art Center at 967-8222.

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