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Arts & Culture

There's a new slate of art classes and exhibitions at community centers across the islands

Japanese master bird carver Haruo Uchiyama with a bird he was carving for the Bishop Museum
Noe Tanigawa
Japanese master bird carver Haruo Uchiyama with a bird he was carving for the Bishop Museum.

The new year brings a new slate of art classes and exhibitions to community centers throughout the state. Studies show that creating art is linked to improved memory and other mental benefits, especially for older residents.

Hawaiʻi's art and community centers are places where people can share equipment and ideas for two or three hours a week and enrich their lives through creativity.

On Maui, Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center opens its Annual Juried Exhibition this Friday at their campus in Makawao. Printmaking, ceramics, and jewelry-making classes start this month.

In Kona on Hawaiʻi island, Donkey Mill Art Center is starting up classes in Holualoa. Join the studios for printmaking and ceramics classes. On Thursday, there's a free Zoom talk story with printmakers who are working at Donkey Mill now.

In Hilo, the East Hawaiʻi Cultural Center has inaugurated its Out of Doors arts program, a theater project with a mobile component in 2022. See "Grief," works by Douglas Diaz, in the gallery.

Molokaʻi Art Center has open studios by appointment and ceramic classes. And Lanaʻi Art Center had its "Art After Dark" rained out in December but is still operating as well.

On Oʻahu, the Downtown Art Center, the DAC, has classes in mail art, kids' classes, and even making art from your own travel memorabilia. DAC Director Sandy Pohl says the city has extended the center's lease for 6 months into 2022.

"The Downtown Art Center has so much potential. In 2021, we paid off $125,000 to the artists. That's a lot of money that wouldn't have happened without the DAC," Pohl said.

This Friday, a much-anticipated show opens, "Architects as Artists," in the DAC gallery through February 12.

A potentially game-changing resource opened its doors last year in Chinatown — the Honolulu Printmakers' studio and gallery. It’s available now for community access printmaking. Check their capabilities — letterpress to digital. And they're planning for 3D.

At district and community parks, many classes are free, from archery to ukulele. Online registration starts this week on Oʻahu.

Developer Mark Gabbay plans to be on Kauaʻi later this month. We'll catch up with him then on the new art center springing up in Lihuʻe.

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