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    September 2016
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Kapa Kahilu Gallery Exhibit

Kahilu Theatre is pleased to present Kapa Kahilu, an exhibition displaying original new works of kapa created by celebrated practitioners of the revered Hawaiian art form. The curated art works will be on display in the Theatre’s Kohala and Hamakua galleries from September 15 through November 3. The exhibit opens the 36th Season of the Kahilu Theatre Foundation.


Kapa Kahilu will be the first exhibit of its kind on Hawai‘i Island and will feature some of today’s most respected kapa makers across the state. It will be a rare chance for island residents, students, and visitors to Hawai‘i Island to be immersed in this ancient Hawaiian art form.

verna kapaa

“The Exhibit is in honor of renowned kapa practitioner Marie McDonald. She is one of the primary artists attributed to preserving and perpetuating the art of kapa; it was her idea to have a kapa exhibit of this caliber in North Hawai’i,” said Kahilu Exhibitions Coordinator Margo Ray. “Marie is a long time Waimea resident and although she is no longer making kapa, three of her pieces from private collections will be included in the exhibit.”

Kapa Artists Featured:

  • Moana Eisele
  • Roen Hufford
  • Dalani Tanahy
  • Sabra Kauka
  • Verna Takashima
  • Bernice Akamine
  • Solomon Aipo
  • Lisa Schattenburg Raymond
  • Marie McDonald
  • Denby Freeland-Cole

There will be an exhibit opening reception on Thursday, September 15, from 5pm to 7pm. Live music will be provided by Hōkū Pa’a, pupu and libations will also be on offer, and most of the featured artists will be present. The documentary Ka Hana Kapa will also be screened in the Theatre starting at 6pm. The reception is free and open to the public.

Hōkū Pa’a

Hōkū Pa’a

On, Friday, September 16, from 4pm to 6pm, kapa makers and experts will hold a symposium and Q&A session with exhibiting artists and contributing scholars. This is free and open to anyone who wishes to learn more about the art form.

Sunday, September 18 at 4pm, there will be a performance by the celebrated Hālau O Kekuhi. Dancers from the halau will be wearing the traditional kapa pa’u and malo garments during the event. The Sunday performance is the opening show of the Kahilu Theatre’s 36th Season.

Kapa making demonstrations by local kapa makers will be held at the Theatre on select Saturdays during the exhibit. Confirmed demonstration dates are September 17 and October 8. These demonstrations will take place from 11am to 2pm and are free to the public.

Kahilu Theatre will also be publishing an educational and curatorial exhibit guide with scholarly essays by Victoria Kneubuhl, Moana Eisle, Betty Lou Kam, Roen Hufford, and Craig Howes, along with images of select kapa pieces in the exhibit.

Kapa is made from the fibrous inner bark of the wauke, and clothed early Hawaiians for centuries. The papery cloth is often stamped with many intricate designs, or stained with colorful dyes made from native plants and was used primarily for clothing, blankets, and religious rituals.

Kapa Kahilu is made possible by generous grants from the Hawaii Council for the Humanities and the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

The Kahilu Galleries are free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, from 9am to 1pm, and during all performances. For more information, visit www.kahilutheatre.org or call (808) 885-6868.

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