Meet the jurors…
Schaefer International Gallery 2015 Portrait Challenge.
Seeing that your new best friend (me) has been given the fabulous opportunity of showing at the Schaefer International Gallery’s 2015 Portrait Challenge I thought you all might like to know a bit more about the folks who possess such obvious good taste: the jurors.
I am just learning about them myself, and one of the coolest things I know about them is that they come from all over the state — not just our beautiful Maui, but the Big Island and Oahu are represented as well.
First let’s meet Esther Shimazu, the juror from Oahu. A picture is worth a thousand words, and plenty has been written about Ms. Shimazu, so how about we just take a look at a few of her sculptures.
Warm Green 2010, 13″ x 16.5″ x 10″
Ms. Shimazu was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1957. She attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa before transferring to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Art in 1980 and a Master of Fine Art in 1982.
Fire Horse 2011, 13.75″ x 15.5″ x 5.5″
I just love the faces of her characters in the sculptures, don’t you? And the spirit that comes through in their expressions and poses – I could study them for hours!
Come Sit By Me 2010, 13″ x 10″ x 10″
Next up, Keith Tallett. Mr. Tallett is a mixed media artist who was born and raised in Hilo, on the Big Island. He is also a second generation surfboard shaper and tattoo practitioner of traditional Polynesian patterns.
Mobile Homeland, commercially produced carts with a variety of custom modifications that currently include unique fiberglass panels, lifted wheel units and mobile taro farming capabilities.
Flying Hawaiians, mixed media, 48″ x 72″
In Flying Hawaiians, pictured above, Mr. Tallett points out how new Hawaiian culture meets old with his use of tires — definitely part of the current obsession with cars as symbols of status — to evoke the traditional patterns of Polynesian tattoos — also external signs of personality and identity.
Contemporary Craft (artifacts)
I love how Mr. Tallett uses a variety of media to explore the past and present, from the most traditional and personal expression of individuality and identity (tattoos) to a more communal expression of culture and history (his mixed-media installation “Mobile Homeland”).
You can read more about Mr. Tallett and his approaches to his work at his website, http://keithtallett.com.
Finally, let’s meet Maui-based artist Sidney Yee. Yee was raised in Waipahu and earned his degree in secondary art education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He spent several years teaching art at Leilehua High School as well as running the art program at Lahainaluna High School on Maui. Mr. Yee’s work can be found in public and private collections including that of the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and the Honolulu Academy of Arts.
Since I could find no website for Mr. Yee, showing you his most recent or relevant (to his job as juror) work is nigh on impossible. That’s interesting to me because of all three jurors it is Sidney Yee’s work with which I am most familiar, having shown with him at ArtMaui this year.
After quite a bit of time searching the web I was finally able to find these three paintings which I feel express who he is as an artist. I apologize for the quality of the top two pictures. I felt rather as if I were dumpster-diving in trying to find biographical information or images of his work suitable for reproducing here, which by no means reflects his quality or reputation as a brilliant artist. I adore his work!
So there you have them — three esteemed artists offering their eye and expertise to select 66 artworks which they feel depict our people and culture from around the state.
For more information about the Schaefer Gallery and the 2015 Portrait Challenge (with the names of all 64 artists selected), as well as information about the current show at the Schaefer, visit their website at http://www.mauiarts.org/index.html?p=3&ex=900.
And be sure to check out the Portrait Challenge show in January.