With very short notice, Kumu hula (teacher) Ehulani Stephanie agreed to bring members of her halau (hula school) down to the gallery first Friday evening April 3 to perform for our art opening. Cosette, Tuko and I created some new work to celebrate the month of Merrie Monarch, which of course is a huge Hawaiian cultural event in Hilo. We hope to add to our collection of new paintings as the actual week approaches.
I found inspiration for my works in some photos taken by my friend Nikko at one of the halau's performances, so it was especially wonderful to have them dance in the gallery. Another source: last year's opening night performance by another great halau, the Halau o Kekuhi, excited me with their incredible bright yellow pa'u costumes with twisted tapa belts.