Temple Children paints downtown Hilo’s largest mural

MANA is a flowy, calligraphy-style mural that honors Hawai‘i Island’s terrestrial and spiritual elements of earth, fire, and water. Photo courtesy of Emad Rashidi

MANA is a flowy, calligraphy-style mural that honors Hawai‘i Island’s terrestrial and spiritual elements of earth, fire, and water. Photo courtesy of Emad Rashidi

Mini documentary film of Temple Children projects on Hawaii Island by Emad Rashidi.


Downtown Hilo’s largest public mural, located on the corner of Haili and Keawe Streets, was recently completed by Temple Children. The arts and sustainability organization also coordinated a series of installations in nature, short films, and food + art activations. These events, which happened throughout November, featured globally renowned artists, local artisans and tastemakers.

MANA, the newest mural to Hilo, is a flowy, calligraphy-style piece that honors Hawai‘i Island’s terrestrial and spiritual elements of earth, fire, and water. The mural is a collaboration between Los Angeles-based artist Cryptik, and Australian artist and Temple Children co-founder, David ‘MEGGS’ Hooke. Their design is a juxtaposition of personal styles – Cryptik’s precision and MEGGS’ abstraction.

Mixed-media artist Ellen Rutt, from Detroit, Michigan, created a traveling installation titled ‘Nothing Is Separate: A Collaboration with Nature.’ Recycled wood and second-hand objects were transformed into boldly colored, geometric shapes. Pieces were integrated into the environment at various locations around the island including Amau‘ulu, Saddle Road and Maunakea, in an effort to showcase humans as a conduit between constructed, synthetic elements and the natural world. Rutt’s work aimed to inspire ways “society can work with Earth in a sensual and symbiotic dance for the future.”

Poke Trio Course. Photo courtesy of Emad Rashidi

Poke Trio Course. Photo courtesy of Emad Rashidi

Two pop-up benefit dinners, MOON + TEMPLE, fused locally sourced food and ceramic art, and helped provide funds for Temple Children’s November project. The intimate Japanese-styled, seafood forward dinners featured a progressive five course meal with artistic plating techniques, presented on custom Shun Tsukazaki ceramics. Temple Children director Miya Tsukazaki organized the dinners in collaboration with Mark and Soni Pomaski of Moon & Turtle and Ernie Gray of Poke Market.

Rounding out the artist roster was Iranian-born filmmaker and photographer, Emad Rashidi. Rashidi created a portrait and landscape series as well as short films for each of the Temple Children November experiences. A short documentary will be released in late December; a sneak peak can be accessed at www.templechildren.com.

The November mural, travelling installations, and film series is Temple Children’s fourth artist residency and public art activation aimed at beautifying and revitalizing Downtown Hilo.

During their stay, artists were immersed in Hawai‘i Island culture, educated on food sustainability, and fed nearly 100 percent locally-sourced on-island fare. Artists also participated in an educational hike to the lava flow, led by Kīlauea EcoGuides.

The project would not have been possible without financial support from NOVO Painting; ladders and lifts from Takamine Construction; and paint donations from HPM Building Supply. Meals and locally-sourced food items were donated by The Locavore Store, OK Farms, Kumu Belcher, Jimi Kunimura, Conscious Culture Café, and Loved by the Sun. Additional donations and support were provided by Kona Cold Lobsters, Suisan, KTA Superstores, Pia Brew, Big Island Booch, Dam Fine Farms, Hilo Fish, Young’s Market, Two Ladies Kitchen, Short N Sweet Bakery, Hawaiian Linen Supply, and Andrew Donaldson.

The November project and artist residency was coordinated by Temple Children founders Miya Tsukazaki and David “MEGGS” Hooke, with support from its regional director, Ashley Kierkiewicz, and community liaison, Leandra Keuma of Circle of Life.

Temple Children is an arts and sustainability organization that coordinates projects in Hawaii and beyond to build community, promote social and environmental innovation, and incite positive change.

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