High Art

Hawaii’s newest museum opens next month with a daylong festival of culture and the arts in downtown Honolulu.

By: Marty Wentzel

Hawaii’s newest museum opens next month with a daylong festival of culture and the arts in downtown Honolulu.

Located in a classic 1928 Spanish-Mission style building, the Hawaii State Art Museum celebrates its grand opening on Nov. 3. Its inaugural exhibition, “Enriched by Diversity: The Art of Hawaii,” includes 360 works in a variety of media by 284 Hawaii artists. Admission to the museum is free. The exhibit depicts the expressions of Hawaii artists from the 1940s to the present.

“Hawaii’s unique multicultural legacy is reflected in the museum’s inaugural exhibition,” said Lisa Yoshihara, acting director of the Hawaii State Art Museum. “Here, visitors can experience Hawaii’s history, people, traditions, values, environment and current affairs through the eyes, hands and hearts of our artists.”

First-Day Festivities

On opening day, entry to the museum will be by timed ticket to keep waiting in line to a minimum.

In conjunction with the opening of the museum, clients can attend the Celebrate Culture and the Arts Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As part of the opening festivities, many of the historic and cultural attractions in downtown Honolulu are offering free admission. Trolleys are providing roundtrip transportation from various galleries and points of interest.

Opening day festivities include hands-on arts activities, music and dance performances and food booths on the grounds of the new museum and the State Capitol.

Clients can see the offices of Hawaii’s governor and lieutenant governor, tour the Hawaii Theatre, learn the history of the Honolulu Police Department, stroll through the basement galleries of Iolani Palace, take guided or docent-led tours of the Judiciary History Center, visit the Vietnam Veterans memorial and see Washington Place, home of Hawaii’s governor.

Children can face-paint, participate in interactive crafts and swim at the YWCA.

Demonstrations of glass blowing, raku, watercolors and printmaking will be offered.

Plans are under way to create a visitor center on the first floor of the museum. The visitor center will eventually include a ticket and information kiosk, a 70-seat orientation/education auditorium, a volunteer room, a gift shop, a kitchen and a cafe. Enhancements are scheduled for completion by spring 2004.

Yoshihara said the museum will be promoted with help from the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and Oahu Visitors Bureau. Museum brochures are available at all of Hawaii’s major hotels.

The new Hawaii State Art Museum is the second largest art gallery in Hawaii, following the Honolulu Academy of Arts. On the second floor of the building, which originally served as the Armed Forces YMCA, 12,000 square feet of space has been converted to public galleries.

A 2,000-square-foot sculpture lobby serves as the entrance to the museum. The 4,000-square-foot Ewa Gallery and 6,000-square-foot Diamond Head Gallery flank the lobby.

Call 808-586-0900.

Web site: www.sate.hi. us/sfca.