Hawai'i Nei 2011 opened Aug. 5 at the Wailoa Art & Cultural Center with a reception for 93 professional, amateur, high school, middle school and elementary school artists displaying 176 works of art celebrating Hawaii Island's native species.
Approximately 350 people attended to meet the artists, congratulate the award winners, share some light refreshments and listen to some lively musical entertainment.
Even with all that, the star of the show was the art, educating the viewer by depicting familiar and rare native species found on our island.
Hawai'i Nei 2011's committee selected three jurors who had the daunting task of distributing the awards in the various categories.
They were Rob Pacheco, who owns Hawaii Forest and Trail and is a member of the Board of Land and Natural Resources; Donna Ball, who is a biologist for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and manages the Big Island Conservation Partnerships program, and Codie M. King, art director and State Parks Interpretive Center coordinator for Wailoa.
Dean Gallagher, an interpretive ranger for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, had the most difficult job of all, handing out all the awards and correctly pronouncing all the artists' names, as well as all the native species' Hawaiian and scientific names.
"Congratulations to all the winners and artists who participated in this year's exhibit," said King. "And a big 'mahalo' to all the sponsors who contributed prizes for the awards and another huge 'mahalo' to the Hawai'i Nei committee members, who spent countless hours researching, educating and planning this important exhibit."
Hawai'i Nei 2011 will close on Friday, Aug. 26, with the artists picking up their work the next day.
Wailoa Art & Cultural Center is a facility of the Division of State Parks, Department of Land and Natural Resources.
It is free and opened to the public Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday from noon to 4:30 p.m. The Center is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and state holidays. For additional information, please call 933-0416 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the Hawai'i Nei student winners:
-- High school: first place, Arah Ko;
-- Middle school: first place, Noa Gagner; second place, Cody Yamaguchi;
-- Elementary: first place, Noe'ula Lindsey; second place, Hinanowelo Perry; third place, Caley Tadeo-Etrata;
-- Honorable mention: Benjamin Wyatt, Keli'ihowelo Perry, Jayden Uowolo and Kiha Stevens.
-- Adult finalists, two-dimensional: (professional) first place and Jurors' Choice Overall, John Dawson; second place, Beverly Jackson; third place, Avery Berido; (amateur) first place, Linda Peterson; second place, Lisa Grieg; third place, Brent Kiyan;
-- Adult finalists, three-dimensional: (professional), first place, Elizabeth Miller; second place, John Mydock; third place, Ethan Froney; (amateur) first place, Anna Rainie;
-- Adult finalists, photography: first place, Jack Jeffrey; second place, Lanaya Deily; third place, Lanaya Deily; fourth place, Lanaya Deily; (amateur) first place, Bob Peck; second place, Tommy Anders; third place, Chantelle Lucas; fourth place, Tommy Adkins;
-- The rarest species: first place, Gretchen Grove; second place, Tommy Adkins; third place, Gretchen Grove;
-- Honorable mention, by category -- Marine: Howard Bradley; birds: Claudia McCall; insect: Claudia McCall; birds: Rosy Bartsch; plants: Yvette Simonson; seabirds: Emily Herb; marine: Kathleen Kam; fish: Sarah Taylor Ko, and honu: Lisa Komarczyk.