This week, globally renowned artists Lauren YS, Wooden Wave and David “MEGGS” Hooke are painting sustainability-themed murals as part of a concerted effort to invigorate and beautify Downtown Hilo.
Bay Area artist Lauren YS, who studied at Stanford University, is painting the Hilo Town Tavern. Lāʻie-based artist Matthew Ortiz of Wooden Wave is leading the mural at Short N Sweet Bakery in collaboration with Australian artist, MEGGS.
At the Hilo Town Tavern, Lauren pays homage to her sister Dani, who recently graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University with an astrobiology degree. Dani is depicted as a “cyber-hybrid space biologist traversing a sustainable future dreamscape in search of nutrient rich, local flora” because of Dani’s focus during her NASA internship to find plants that could possibly be used to sustain life on Mars.
The maritime scene at Short N Sweet was commissioned by Energy Excelerator, a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to solving the world’s energy challenges. Inspired by Hawaiʻi’s mandated clean energy goals, Wooden Wave’s mural depicts a large sustainability boat equipped with various permaculture and energy producing systems. The ‘community on a boat’ is outfitted with a bakery, a nod to the building’s history and Hilo’s iconic mom-and-pop shops.
The Hilo murals are led by Temple Children, an arts-based organization founded by Hilo-native Miya Tsukazaki and her partner MEGGS that coordinates projects to strengthen communities, promote social and environmental innovation, and incite positive global change. Ashley Kierkiewicz rounds out the team as Temple Children’s Regional Director.
To support the project, HPM Building Supply generously donated Pratt & Lambert paint and various supplies; Hilo Town Tavern and Short N Sweet provided additional onsite assistance.
The murals are expected to be complete this Saturday, May 7. A third and final mural led by MEGGS in collaboration with Oahu-based muralist and tattoo artist Lucky Olelo will commence at Lucy’s Taqueria/Laundry Express the week of May 15.
Individuals or organizations interested in contributing to the project or inquiring about a mural commission in the Hawaii region may contact Ashley Kierkiewicz at (808) 989-4004.