We are excited to to share the results of our first activation to bring in renowned visual artists Lauren YS and Wooden Wave to paint sustainability-themed murals in Hilo, Hawai'i. This town is very special to us and we are humbled by the amount of support we've received from the community. We've seen first-hand that public art creates inspiration and encourages people to stop and think, so we feel that the positive messaging behind the murals is a step in the right direction for Hilo. We can't wait for the next project, which is already in the works!
Oakland-based artist Lauren YS painted the entire side of Hilo Town Tavern on Keawe Street. Her mural, titled 'Piscean,' is a fantastical portrait of her younger sister Dani as a cyber-hybrid space biologist traversing a sustainable future dreamscape. Dani interned at NASA with a focus in researching plants that could sustain life on Mars and just graduated with her degree in astrobiology, so Lauren congratulates her by painting her portrait as a sea-witch with a Piscean space-helmet scrutinizing the local flora for its nutrient content.
"Thank you to Temple Children for providing me an outpost to paint my vision of a kind of surreal environmentalist everywoman : the future of our planet, and any planet, requires us to pay attention to the earth around us." - Lauren YS
Lauren travels the globe painting murals and exhibiting her work. We had the pleasure of traveling with her for nearly three months in New Zealand, Australia, and Hawai'i, and her passion to influence her audience in a positive light is why she fits perfectly into our Temple Children community. You might recognize her in a few of our 'Temple Children Travels' photo journals.
Husband and wife duo Matt and Roxy (Wooden Wave) of Lā'ie, O'ahu designed a mural with the help of our Director MEGGS at Short N' Sweet Bakery on Kinoole Street. The design was created in collaboration with our friends at Energy Excelerator, who are a mission-driven non-profit organization with the mandate to solve the world’s energy systems challenges through innovation, starting in Hawaii and Asia Pacific. In considering Hilo's close relationship to the ocean and Energy Excelerator's mission, Wooden Wave's maritime scene utilizes as many community-minded sustainability systems as possible for the mural, titled ‘Kalamakua.’
Kalamakua translates to the idea of bearing a torch for the next generation, or carrying a light, which enhances the overall theme of the artwork, “Innovating for 100%.” The larger boat is outfitted with various permaculture and energy creating systems that would conceivably meet the needs of an eco-conscious, fun-loving, ocean-bound community. Included among these systems are solar panels, water collection/storage, aquaponics, terraced roof-top gardens, and a bakery built in mid-century modern architecture, a nod to Hilo town's vibrant mom and pop businesses and the history of Short N Sweet Hilo’s building. The smaller canoe is a Hawaiian style wa‘a – an homage to the cultural significance of Hawaiian seafaring, and an exultation of the iconic historic landmark. The artwork also features native Big Island flora and fauna, as the piece would not be complete without some "major greenery," as Matt claims.
Aside from the mural painting, we enjoyed our pau hanas (after-work drinks) and visits to secret waterfalls with Lauren, Matt, MEGGS, and crew. We'll share a glimpse of the b-roll in a future post.
Many thanks to our Regional Director Ashley Kierkiewicz, Energy Excelerator, HPM Hawai'i, Maria and Dien Short, Issa Hilweh, Aloha Made, Oasis Skate Co., Montana Colors Hawai'i, Aloha Mondays, Moon & Turtle, Zoe Kaneshiro, Rebecca Keolanui, and Kim Tsukazaki for all of the support and generosity!