Grown-up pursuits atBy Nadine Kam
the Punahou Carnival
One of the biggest art shows in town is one that lasts less than a week, in the unlikely setting of the Punahou Carnival.
Amidst the booths of vendors hawking malassadas and cotton candy, the games, flashing lights and white elephant sales, those with an eye for quality could actually pick up more than a trinket or sticky fingers.
Georgina Beckley Allred returns every year from Oregon, where there is no shortage of woods, to pick up huge bowls carved from koa and mango. "I love the local woods," she said. "My sister always tells me the dates of the carnival. I picked up some great pieces this year."
Allred was one of the buyers who had a sneak peek at the show on Public Collector's Day Tuesday, allowing buyers for businesses, architects, designers and collectors to view the show privately.
Last year, 18 corporate clients signed up to take advantage of the sneak, which was always relegated to dark, cramped quarters. This year, the show moved into the new, well-lit Punahou Science Center, and 70 corporate clients signed up in hope of dressing up their home or work environments with works by a who's who roster of 250 local artists.
Don't worry, there'll be something left for the rest of us small potatoes when the carnival opens tomorrow. For one thing, most of the institutional collectors tend to purchase the monumental works unlikely to fit through your doors. And, happily for the artists, if one piece sells during advance events, they're invited to replenish.
Among the most affordable pieces are glass starfish ($30) and paperweights ($50) by Bruce Clark; glasses ($40) by Svetlana Vorina decorated with polymer clay to look like millefleurs; hand-painted wooden ring cups ($12) from Linda Gue; and miniature teapots ($40) by Gail Bakutis.
On the opposite end is Kim Duffett's $8,200 earpod and alder wood sculpture, "Absolut Tiki," inspired by the Absolut vodka advertising campaign.
Food is represented in images by Brenda Cablayan ("Requesting Olives," $2,300); Kelly Sueda ("Li Hing Mui," $450) and Hanae Uechi Mills ("Soybean" series, $650-$1450).
Some of the whimsical pieces are Nancy Poes' still lifes with hula dancer dolls ($1,000); Vicky Chock's "Magician" ceramic sculpture ($2,000); and Rochelle Lum's ceramic pieces "Fish and Poi" ($500) and "Velveteen Rabbit."
Half the money raised from the art sales will benefit Punahou's financial aid program, the other half will go to the respective artists. Each year, a poster is commissioned for the carnival, also benefitting the school. The 1999 poster has been created from an original watercolor of night-blooming cereus by Fabienne Blanc.
Michael and Sheri Schnack were the volunteers coordinating the exhibition. They arrived at their position by being the parents of Punahou junior Jason Schnack. It's the junior class that stages the carnival.
"We sign up during sophomore year and follow the juniors around, learning what they're doing," said Sheri. "We started planning the day after the carnival ended last year. It's a major time consumer. We had to design the layout of the exhibition, set up the panels, the lighting."
They could have signed up for something easier, like scrip sales, but Sheri said of the art and ceramics gallery, "It's the only place I want to be. I love seeing the art coming in, what people create."
The couple usually ends up buying something, "if we can agree on a piece, because we have different tastes. If it's meant to be, it'll be."
Carnival timePunahou Carnival: Features rides, art and ceramics gallery, food, game and plant booths, on campus at 1601 Punahou School
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday
Call: 944-5711, Punahou School
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