The Hawai‘i State Legislature will open its doors for the 5th Annual “Art at the Capitol” in conjunction with the Hawaii State Art Museum’s First Friday festivities on Friday, April 5, 2013 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. A program on the third floor kicks off the event.
This is a unique opportunity for the public to view over 460 works of art by local artists placed in the offices of legislators and executive offices. Forty-eight offices in both the House and the Senate, including the Public Access Room, and Office of the Governor are participating.
“Our State Capitol is like the Louvre in Paris, where we house a vast collection of art in a variety of mediums. We are fortunate to have these amazing works of art in our offices and we wanted to make it more convenient for people to come and see them all at once to get the full impact of the collection,” said Senator Brian Taniguchi, who has led efforts for the Art at the Capitol event.
Along with viewing the art collection, visitors may watch a short documentary featuring renowned artist Satoru Abe. He is known for his paintings and sculptures of abstracted natural forms, many of which resemble trees.
“I am thrilled that Satoru Abe will be our featured artist this year,” said Rep. Della Au Belatti who co-coordinates efforts from the House for Art at the Capitol. “He is the last surviving member of the Metcalf Chateau, the art enclave on Metcalf Street of seven young Asian American artists that included Tadashi Sato, who created the Aquarius mosaic in our Capitol rotunda. Now in his late eighties, he still works in his outdoor studio at home, creating sculptures during the day and painting at night. He’s truly amazing.”
Guests will enjoy entertainment featuring live chamber music from the Hawaii Youth Symphony Quartet #1 and #2, and have the chance to mingle with lawmakers and artists. Satoru Abe, Carol Ann Davis, Boris Huang, John Tanji Koga and Rochelle Lum are among the artists who plan to attend.
“Art at the Capitol is a festive event,” said Rep. Mark Nakashima who coordinates efforts from the House for Art at the Capitol. “The people are invited into their Capitol to visit the offices, chat with legislators, and learn a little more about the personality of the occupant through the art they chose to display. People can wander the halls listening to live chamber music and later stroll over to downtown Honolulu and celebrate First Friday activities.”
For a preview of some of the art in the offices, a video series, called “Art at the Capitol 2013: What’s on your wall?” can be found on the Art at the Capitol YouTube and Facebook accounts.
New videos featuring a representative and senator talking about artwork from their office will be posted daily until the day of the event.
Art at the Capitol Background:
Art at the Capitol began 5 years ago as Senator Brian Taniguchi’s initiative to allow the public to view art acquired by the “Art in Public Places” program that are displayed in the State Capitol offices. With more than 900 pieces of artwork in the Capitol, the idea was conceived following a conversation with a Hawaii State Art Museum docent about having legislators open their doors to the public to view the art collection – the people’s art. During its inaugural year, the Senate opened its doors afterhours for the Art at the Capitol event. With an overwhelming amount of positive response towards the event, the House of Representatives joined Art at the Capitol the following year. In 2012, the Governor’s and Lieutenant Governor’s Offices participated in the event, making it the first time that all 5 floors of the State Capitol were open for Art at the Capitol.
Works of art are placed in public areas of the State Capitol as part of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts’ “Art in Public Places” program, which seeks to enhance the environmental quality of state public buildings and spaces for the enjoyment and enrichment of the public; cultivate the public’s awareness, understanding and appreciation of visual arts; contribute toward the development and recognition of a professional artistic community; and acquire, preserve, and display works of art expressive of the character of the Hawaiian Islands, the multicultural heritage of its people, and the various creative interests of its artists. The program was established in 1967, and was the first of its kind in the nation.
Below are photos of the artwork from the Art in Public Places Collection displayed at the Hawaii State Capitol that visitors will be able to view:
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