Here's Part 1 of a visual recap of our recent #RevitalizeHilo project on the Big Island. This project has made us realize our full potential to make a positive impact and we are so thankful for everyone who contributed to help us execute our vision!
This fully immersive public art and sustainability activation featured 5 visiting artists - Jet Martinez, Yoskay Yamamoto, Rick Hayward, Emily Devers, and Sam Yong; two local artists - Kai'ili Kaulukukui and Brandy Serikaku; and our visiting filmmaker Cory Martin. Our goal was to connect them with the Big Island culture, environment, and food, and to have them discuss ways they can contribute to these values through their art. Another overarching aspect of the project was food sustainability, and with the help of the community we are happy to report that we succeeded at feeding our artists near to 100% locally sourced Big Island fare and teaching them why eating locally is so important in lowering your carbon footprint. Overall, we wanted to take the next step and encourage action in addition to awareness and positive messaging through our public artworks.
The project began with a welcome BBQ in Keaukaha and was followed with a Pohaha I Ka Lani volunteer work day in Waipi'o Valley to give our visitors the opportunity to meet each other, learn about our island and in turn, give back. Through these hands on efforts, our artists were able to establish a deep connection with the earth, the community, and each other. There is no doubt that their resulting public artworks were influenced by these values. Through the help of our knowledgable friends Kulia Tolentino Potter, Jesse Potter, Nick Francisco, and Maury Gutteling, we were able to educate our artists about the life cycle one of the most valued food sources in Hawaiian culture, kalo (taro).
A sincere mahalo to the volunteers and to our friends and partners who made this project possible: Novo Painting (Cole and Lisa Palea), OluKai, K. Taniguchi, Ltd., Hana Hou Hilo, Agasa Furniture Store and Keaukaha One Youth Development.
We'd also like to thank HPM Building Supply, Takamine Construction, Sweet Cane Café, Aloha Mondays, Aiona Car Sales, Two Ladies Kitchen, Moon and Turtle, Big Island Booch, OK Farms, The Locavore Store, Island Naturals, Shark’s Coffee and MaruMaru Hawaii for additional donations. We were able to reach our goals because the community came together.
Lastly we'd like to say a big Mahalo to our team - Regional Director Ashley Kierkiewicz, Operations member Arik May of Aloha Made, Circle of Life Hilo’s Leandra Keuma and local artist Kathleen Kam for the on-site support and keiki volunteers.
Stay tuned for Part II, coming as soon as we brew another pot of coffee!