Kahilu Theatre Hosts Talk by Nationally Recognized Artist and Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner Bernice Akamine

Kahilu Theatre presents an Artist Talk by nationally recognized artist, Bernice Akamine, on August 19, from 10:30 – 11:30am. Ms. Akamine will give a presentation describing the scope of her art practice, and will discuss how her roots as a Hawaiian cultural practitioner informs her work. The talk is being held in conjunction with her solo exhibition at Kahilu Theatre, and during the presentation Akamine will also discuss her work on display in the galleries. Coffee and light pastry will be on offer.

Bernice Akamine speaking about her installation with to Lulani Arquette , CEO of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) Photo by Mark Ley

“Bernice Akamine is a treasure for our state, both as a contemporary artist and as a cultural practitioner, and we are delighted to bring her work to Waimea,” says Deb Goodwin, Executive Director of Kahilu Theatre. “Her installations, Hinalua‘iko‘a and Kalo, exemplify deeply engaged and profoundly moving art, creativity we aim to showcase at Kahilu Theatre, both on stage and in our galleries. At the opening reception on August 3, Bernice spoke passionately about what inspires and influences her, giving the art richer meaning for those in attendance. Kahilu Theatre is honored to offer an additional opportunity to hear Bernice speak.”

Kahilu Theatre Development Associate David Clark describes the experience of viewing Kalo and hearing Bernice speak about it at the reception. “The large field of mixedmedia taro plants that make up the installation Kalo is beautiful in its own right, but it was so much more significant to learn about it from Bernice. Each newsprint “leaf” contains the printed signatures of residents that signed the1897-98 Ku’e: the AntiAnnexation Petitions, as well as maps of the districts in which those signatories resided. Each paper kalo plant “grows” out of a pohaku, or lava rock, donated by community members from each of the main Hawaiian Islands. This layering of source material makes the installation a living invocation of past generations and serves to remind each viewer (whether resident or visitor) of their kuleana or responsibility to protect the natural environment, the cultural traditions, and the history of this special place.”

Bernice Akamine is a sculptor and installation artist based on Hawai‘i Island. She uses a variety of media to express her ideas, and recurring themes include environmental and cultural issues. She is a recognized cultural practitioner with deep roots in Kapa and waiho‘olu‘u, Hawaiian natural dyes. Her solo exhibition at Kahilu Theatre Galleries, presents two bodies of work in both galleries.

Kalo, is a mixed media installation that consists of 83 taro plants made of stone and leaves. Hinalua‘iko‘a are suspended and free standing beaded sculptures that present an immersive environment inspired by traditional Hawaiian fish traps, sea creatures, talk radio and the Hawaiian Creation Chant, the Kumulipo.

Akamine has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. Her selected awards include; a 2015 Native Hawaiian Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation; a 2012 Community Scholar Award from the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History; and a 1999 Visiting Artist Award at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian in New York City.

Kahilu Exhibits, the visual arts exhibition program of the Kahilu Theatre, presents solo and thematic group shows and features local and global works of art from both emerging and established visual artists.
The Akamine exhibition, organized by Sally Lundburg, is on display through September 8. The galleries are free and open to the public Monday thru Friday, from 9am – 1pm, and during all performances and events. For more information, visit http://kahilutheatre.org/Exhibits, email gallery@kahilutheatre.org, or call (808) 885-6868.

For more information about Bernice Akamineʻs work, visit https://www.nativeartsandcultures.org/bernice-akamine or contact the artist at bamakamine@gmail.com.

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