Fine Arts professor, Yukio Ozaki, a renowned ceramist, strung clear line through the frame hooks of artwork that arrived earlier that morning. It was February 14, Valentine's Day, with the show about to open. Volunteers had been busy setting up the exhibit since the day before. Ozaki worked quickly to hang the new entries. When the call went out for artwork, 28 staff and faculty members responded with an amazing variety of creative expression in unexpected media. Ozaki himself had submitted a pastel abstract that he had made in third grade. Smiling broadly, he shared, "I was so glad that my mother saved it."
Dave Coleman, the dean of Humanities and Fine Arts, gathered shell lei, placed them on his arm and waited for artists to arrive. This is the second year that his division has sponsored the art show. Fine Arts professors Walter Takeda and Ozaki continued as chief organizers. Coleman pointed out that it was in alignment with the significance of Humanities and Fine Arts. "The Faculty Staff Art Show is an opportunity to engender a culture of art and art expression on campus and to showcase the multi-dimensions of our colleagues," he said.
Faculty, staff, students and friends streamed through the exhibit. Takeda, dressed in a swanky black vest and black pants set off by his Valentine-red shirt, greeted everyone and referred to his colleagues as "true renaissance faculty and staff."
Takeda was right. What variety! There were exquisite religious pieces and a whimsical, playful rendition of Diamond Head. One dad included his son's piece as part of his, a reminder of the strong human connections we touch when we create. One staff worker remembered his mother and his Native American culture as he stood near his displayed piece.
The exhibit included a wooden puppet built by History professor Mitch Yamasaki, graphic designs by Nursing professor Edna Magpantay-Monroe, and a gothic wooden cathedral by Communication professor Cliff Bieberly. From repurposed fiber and bamboo representing Communication professor Eva Washburn-Repollo's passion for her teaching to a chunk of koa turned into a beacon of light in dark times from Education dean Dale Fryxell, pieces had their stories and deeper meanings. Starfish, jellyfish, photos, landscapes, etchings, video, mosaic, and more added to the buffet of creative endeavors.
Stop by and marvel a little. Expect to be surprised and pleased. The Faculty Staff Art Show runs through Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the Sullivan Family Library.