A mixed-media work by Na Keiki O Nanakuli artists Chantel Dutro-Young and Kalani Hakoano.
Art to Go goes well with needy kids
There's a little art show on exhibit in the humble space of The Cathedral Art Gallery, which is housed inside the tiny gift shop of Our Lady of Peace cathedral in downtown Honolulu.
The artwork is clearly made by children; there are paintings and sculptures, masks and collages. And beside the works are pictures of the artists: youngsters, their faces beaming. It's those faces that best convey the accomplishments of Art to Go, an outreach program for Oahu's underserved youth.
For four years, in a partnership that could only be described as a success, the Academy Art Center and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Honolulu have provided art classes and mentoring to children through Art to Go at 15 sites around the island. At The Cathedral Gallery, the works of children from 11 sites are on display through June in "Little Moments, Big Magic: Creating Friendships Through Art."
"This unique collaboration allows art ... to help foster and establish friendships between 'Bigs' (mentors) and 'Littles' (children)," says Alan Castillo, partnership development coordinator for Big Brothers.
"Little" Kaimana Bunker, a fifth-grader, and "Big" Louis Rogers, made these masks.
Art to Go accesses the best resources from the partners, with the art center providing paid art teachers and art supplies and Big Brothers recruiting youngsters and mentors.
Carol Khewhok, head of the art center, says the program offers opportunities for success to children who don't do well in conventional school settings.
Khewhok recalls meeting up recently with a girl from one of the earliest Art to Go sessions.
"She came to the art center looking for her original teacher. This girl had been a runaway, with parents in prison," Khewhok says. "But today, she's gorgeous. She's doing well in school, and there's no anger. She said, 'The teachers and classes gave me hope. It gave me something I'm good at.' "
"This program is the most gratifying thing I've ever been involved with putting together," Khewhok says.
The Cathedral Gallery, 1184 Bishop St., is open 11:30 to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays (before and after noon Mass), 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturdays (5 p.m. Mass) and 7:30 to 1 p.m. Sundays. Also, call 536-7036 for private showings 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.