by Michele Shackelford, staff writer
|The Art in Public Places exhibit premieres March
3. The museum will hold an opening reception from 5-9 p.m. featuring
refreshments from Starbucks and Live from the Lawn entertainment
with many local artists. The purpose of Art in Public Places,
according to the museum Fact Sheet, is to introduce to the community
public art, art actually owned by the state, therefore the people
of Hawai‘i. A series of galleries will describe the commission
process, highlight public art projects, and provide a historical
view of public art in the United States.
Public artists featured in this exhibit, according to the Fact
Sheet, include Carol Bennett, Sean Browne, Ed Carpenter, and
Jean Charlot. The works displayed are meant to speak to the community,
enhance the environment, and expand our knowledge of local and
Carol Bennett is a local artist, whose work adorns many familiar
places around the island. Anyone who has visited The Hilton Hawaiian
Village Coral Ballroom, the largest ballroom in Hawai‘i,
has seen her Dawn and Moonlight murals. Her public murals are
in the Honolulu International Airport, and she has work in various
hotels from here to Nairobi and Tahiti. Bennett lives today on
Kauai, and that island and the ocean are her main inspirations.
Her images grace more than 100 public places around the globe.
Sculptor Sean Browne was born in Hilo, Hawai‘i. Growing
up in the islands, he received his inspiration from the natural
beauty that surrounded him. Venturing out to Italy, according
to the Grand Wailea Art Tour, he studied marble carving under
Paoli Silverio. While there, he received a Fullbright Fellowship
to study stone sculpting in Japan under Isamu Noguchi. He works
with metal and stone, and his art is found throughout Hawai‘i,
Japan, Italy, and California.
Ed Carpenter is a world-renowned artist specializing in large
public installations. Being the grandson of a painter/sculptor,
and stepson of an architect, inspired Carpenter and helped develop
his love of art. In the 1970s he traveled to England and Germany
to study architectural glass art. Innovation in architectural
art and pioneering lighting designs, according to belfastcity.gov,
are fundamental to his work. Dream Leaves, which stands outside
the University of Hawai‘i’s School of Medicine. This
is a beautiful sculpture depicting the delicate shape, simplicity,
and flowing form or leaves over a pond.
Jean Charlot was born in Paris, where he attended L’Ecole
des Beaux-Arts. His early paintings are inspired by local Spanish
folk art from the time he spent in St. Mande and Brittany. He
moved to Mexico where he worked on large murals in public places,
such as the National Preparatory School and the Ministry of Public
Education in Mexico City.
In 1949 Charlot came to Hawai‘i, joining the Art Department
at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa as professor of painting
and art history. He contributed many murals in his time in the
islands, three of the most famous of which are: Early Contacts
of Hawai‘i with the Outer World, in the Waikiki Branch
of the First National Bank; Relations of Man and Nature in Old
Hawai‘i, in Bachman Hall. University of Hawai‘i Manoa
campus; and Commencement, also in Bachman Hall. Charlot traveled
the world, but died here in Hawai‘i in 1979 (tobeycmossgallery.com).
Many other local artists will be featured in the exhibit, which
will include a variety of works depicting the island spirit,
community, and love. The exhibition is meant to bring the community
together and emphasize the community-based process in developing
public art projects, according to the museum’s Fact Sheet.
Art in Public Places runs from March 3 to Sept. 2. For more information
visit the Web site: www.state.hi.us/sfca.
One of the two murals by Jean Charlot at the
University of Hawai'i Manoa's Bachman Hall. Charlot murals can
be found at numerous locations around O'ahu. Perhaps the best
known is the one on the exterior of the administration building
at Leeward Community College.
Photos by Baxter Cepeda