Friday, July 16, 2004

At the Honolulu Zoo fence, generations of artists have shown their work over 50 years. Herm Lau showed his work to visitors in 2001.

On the fence
for 50 years

Art from the zoo fence has long
been adding a splash of color
to island homes

'Lions and tigers and bears -- oh my!" If you've grown up visiting the Honolulu Zoo, however, it would go, "Lions and tigers and bears -- and art -- oh my!"

That, of course, is due to those perennial weekend art shows that happen along the zoo fence on Monsarrat Avenue. In fact, the zoo fence exhibits have been going on for 50 years now, and the 35 artists who currently show their work there are coming out 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday to celebrate.

With everyone out en force, it's a good time to make the rounds again; you might find something inexpensive to add to your blank walls, even after acquiring that pricey

new house or condo.

"We only have real, two-dimensional art hanging," said artist Lorna Williams.

Some of the art dotting the fence these days include "Shave Ice Cat" by Linda Bachrach.

The attraction of the outdoor spot, rather than a traditional glass-and-steel gallery, Williams says, is "No. 1, you get to meet the artists, and No. 2, the art is cheaper. If I showed my work in a gallery, the gallery would take half of what I earn. That means I'd have to double my price."

At the zoo fence, the artists show their works gratis, courtesy of the city.

With a nod to their good fortune, the artists each pay $1 to exhibit. The money goes to charity.

"Right now, we've just started on a new charity, the VSA Arts of Hawaii Pacific. It's a program that gets disabled people into artwork," says Williams.

If you can't make this weekend, the zoo fence gang will continue showing their work from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, just as they've done for the last 50 years.

Happy birthday!

A painting by Poor Lydia.

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