2012 Merrie Monarch Arts Fair to Feature the Waimea Artists’ Guild

Waimea Artists’ Guild (WAG) is proud to announce its participation in a very special event:  Merrie Monarch 2012 Invitational Hawaiian Arts Fair, April 11-14 in Hilo.  WAG artists will exhibit and sell their work from booth #106 in the Butler Building, 648 Pi‘ilani Street.

“The Merrie Monarch Festival is the most iconic and respected hula event in the world,” said Co-Director Beth Mehau, “and we are honored and humbled to have the chance for our WAG artists to be represented.  We cannot wait to share the treasures they have worked so hard to create.”

In an unprecedented opportunity to connect with hula practitioners and aficionados from all over the world, WAG artists will present indigenous and contemporary works including prints, cultural jewelry, traditional wood and bone carvings, feather work and much more.  Many of the items are created in the Waimea Artists’ Guild workspace, a public studio for classes and workshops, with equipment and resources available to members.

Featured artists participating with WAG at the Fair include acclaimed Native Hawaiian artist Harinani Orme and Tom O’o Mehau.  Harinani, born and raised in Honolulu, has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UH Mānoa and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Pratt Institute in New York.  Currently, her works focus on the myths, legends and traditions of old Hawai`i, and though she is known primarily as a fine arts painter and a book illustrator, she also creates artwork in mixed media and is a printmaker, a ceramicist and a jeweler.

Tom Mehau, an artist from the Kamoku-Kapulena Hawaiian Homestead area of Hawaii Island, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Colorado College in Colorado Springs. He is best known for his highly detailed pen and ink renderings, some of which can be seen in P.F. “Ski” Kwiatkowski’s book The Hawaiian Tattoo. Most recently he has transitioned into small-scaled carving under the tutelage of Maori Master Carver Stacy Gordine. His attention to line, form and detail has extended smoothly into this new medium. He is the co-founder of the Waimea Artists’ Guild, an association of professional artists whose intent is to produce art and promote education in their community.

Waimea Artists’ Guild was created by graduates of HOEA, Hawaiian ‘Ohana for Education in the Arts, whose mission is to “increase the number, accessibility, and visibility of Native Hawaiian Arts and Artists.” WAG seeks to continue this vision by perpetuating cultural relevance through the arts.  Although Native Hawaiian ancestry is not required for membership in the Waimea Artists’ Guild, sensitivity for cultural themes, materials and practices is of primary concern in the operation of the program.  For additional information, contact: Beth or Tom Mehau at 887-2289, email waimeaartists@gmail.com or visit www.waimeaartistsguild.com