The Art of Spring

We asked Maui poet and visual artist Lali Groth to examine these events the way painters, sculptors and other artists do: by taking a creative risk that we hope will engage you and lead you to insights you didn’t know you had.

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“In the Spring,” Tennyson opined, “a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”

We beg to differ.

On Maui, the season is more of a muse—judging by five notable events that will celebrate the Islands, their people and cultures, beginning with the Schaefer Portrait Challenge, on display mid-January through mid-March. The Maui Arts & Cultural Center established the triennial show in 2003 to encourage artists throughout Hawai‘i to honor the everyday people among us, and to let you meet them face to face.

Open Studios follows in February, with Maui artists welcoming the public into their studios each weekend to observe, ask questions, and revel in a brush with creativity. February is also when established artists from Hawai‘i and the mainland spend a week painting out of doors and invite you to watch them work. The aptly named Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational includes painting competitions, lectures and an exhibit of works (available for purchase) at The Village Galleries.

In March, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, puts on a festival of an even more traditional kind: a Celebration of the Arts perfected by kanaka maoli—Hawai‘i’s first people. For one bright weekend, The Ritz explores indigenous culture and tradition through performance, film, hands-on demonstrations, exhibitions and more. Last, but never least, Art Maui returns to the Schaefer International Gallery in April. The granddaddy of Maui’s juried art exhibits is turning forty, and far from showing its age, this multimedia show continues the goal of its founders—George and Janet Allan, Marian Freeman and Dick Nelson—to raise art awareness (and eyebrows) every year.

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