"Truly Outrageous!" by Bradley Capello.
Pride in Art
Mark Kadota's artwork recognizes that life is ever-changing. He chooses to explore the invisible currents that can be life-altering and expresses the events and experiences that move our lives, motivate us and affect us.
"I feel that as a gay man, there are certain events that changed the course of my life. I think this is true for everyone," Kadota said.
'The Rainbow Connection'
On display: Tuesday through Feb. 24
Place: Louis Pohl Gallery
Artist's celebration: 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 7
"Often these influences are both light and dark, heavy and light, smooth and textured. All these experiences help form who we are now."
Kadota is among the artists displaying work at the Louis Pohl Gallery exhibit that opens Tuesday, with 10 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Cultural Foundation.
Wendy Gorka, the foundation's executive director, hopes the show will help take the nonprofit group to the next level. "We want to do more events throughout the year and not just be known for the film festival," she said. "The exhibit offers another venue for people to get out and network."
Other artists in the exhibition include Russell Davidson, Andy Kay, Maika'i Tubbs, Alan Carrell, Bradley Capello and Jonah Punzal.
"We are featuring the old guard and the new guard," said Sandra Pohl. "The artists range in age from their 20s to 60s. Russell, Mark and Andy are seasoned artists with international shows. Some of the others are showcasing their work for the first time."
Kay's work includes two-dimensional pieces celebrating Eastern and Western traditions, including collages made of layers of lacquer and gold leaf, and colorful acrylics on canvas.
"Heaven," by Mark Kadota.
"Ancient Temples," by Russell Davidson.
Davidson's paintings are derived from nature. "I use the elemental processes in nature as the basic form of expression dealing with the mystery of the world that is unexplainable and spiritually derived."
His paintings portray the forces of earth, wind, fire and water, both in conflict and harmony. Davidson finds inspiration in the island environment and imagined spirituality.
Davidson became involved with the "Rainbow Connection" exhibit to help show what gays and lesbians contribute to the community. "It raises the awareness that gay people are involved in all aspects of the arts and other cultural activities, including raising funds for charities here in Hawaii."
Kadota added, "It is an important cause. I have myself formed many art fundraisers for AIDS charities, the homeless and gay and lesbian events."
In the '70s, Kadota was involved in a political gallery and exhibited with Robert Mapplethorp in San Francisco.
"Art can be a very powerful educational tool. I feel it is important to bring a good self-esteem to people who have been pushed down by society.
"Just to know that you are not alone is important," he said. "Positive role models and visibility for any minority is important for young people of that particular group. It can be the influence that keeps one away from self-destructive behavior."
"Enso" (no beginning, no end), by Andy Kay, is ink on paper.
"Stone Heart Gray," by Jonah Punzal. This piece is from a series of ceramic hearts called "stone hearts."
"In Passing," by Maika'i Tubbs. The ink, pastel and acrylic on canvas measures 20 by 60 inches and deals with the interaction, or lack thereof, between people during their daily lives.