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HLC exhibit was 'stuff of dreams'

by Victoria Fonseca, staff writer


It was genuinely pleasing to the eye, the glory of its colors amazing, bright and multifaceted. Earth Stories graced the Hawai‘i Loa Campus Gallery from Jan. 30 through March 11. It featured the powerful, abstract art of friends Barbara Okamoto and Deborah Young.


Entering the very earthy, land-centered exhibit led the viewer to a continuation of the lush beauty of Kane‘ohe; many of the pieces used soft browns and greens accentuated by fresh, bright reds and oranges.

Many of the pieces also made excellent use of light reinforcing a particular shape or establishing an atmosphere. Of Deborah Young’s monoprint/mixed media piece, Poetic Glow, Chase Nu‘uhiwa, a senior advertising major and art student, said approvingly, “it has a certain radiance.” With sharp aqua blues, light and dark greens streaking up and across the canvas, this piece provoked feelings of serenity as if the viewer were splashing through a clear pool of water or running through the freshness of a verdant rainforest.

Young often used more vividly geometric patterns, lines, and subconscious fragments as if from memories, or even dreams, as in Earth Music, which includes a representation of a sheet of music using simple, graceful lines. The true music, however, is found in the soft browns, beiges, and gold colors used that encouraged one to appreciate the perfect, complementary colors of the land.

Both artists are listed on the 2004 list of members of the Hawai‘i Watercolor Society, but both employ a number of different mediums often in the same piece.

Barbara Okamoto used watercolor, graphite, and pastel in her monoprint Maria Suite: Earthly Gift, a moving piece that featured smooth pebbles or stones, thematically recurrent in many of her works, in shades from pinks and light oranges to grays and browns, as in this particular piece.
Also vivid is her use of light in such pieces as Clay Story: Poveka, a monoprint in pastel, which showed two humanlike shapes, dark around the edges but light at their centers. One seemed, lovingly, to be watching over the other, sleeping.

The viewers could have connected with any of the pieces at this exhibit, the shapes, the colors, the feelings of each piece; it was as if these artworks were out of a dream, obscure, but full of universal meaning.

HPU Art Gallery’s new exhibit, Recent Works by Cristina Rosa, saw its opening reception on March 20 and will continue on display Monday through Saturday, 8 am to 5 pm through April 29.


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