What the Heck?
COURTESY OF YVONNE BIEGEL
Three young artists were among those who hung around at the Four Seasons Resort Maui last weekend because their art now hangs on its walls. From left, sculptor Jason Minami, fabric artist Pikea Clark and painter Jason Teraoka.
No more horrid hotel art, says consultant
Hotel art is usually the visual equivalent of elevator music. It's so bland you hardly see it.
"This is real art, not hotel art," said well-known Honolulu painter Mary Mitsuda as she walked through the lobby of the Four Seasons Maui. "Somebody knew what they were doing."
That somebody was Santa Barbara-based art adviser Julie Cline, who grew up in Hawaii. Cline's first major hotel project, the Four Seasons Hualalei, focused on art in Hawaii before statehood. The beauty of that collection zoomed the entire market in Hawaiian antiquities.
The Four Seasons on Maui wanted more of the same. Cline said no. Instead, she'd fill the hotel with Hawaii art since statehood. She bought for the hotel nearly 2,500 pieces of art, by 70 contemporary Hawaii artists, including 280 pieces she calls "major."
So last weekend was an unprecedented gathering and a kind of love fest. There were 39 of the artists in attendance, and Cline herself leading tours of the collection.
There were fabric artists like Sue Pearson and Pikea Clark, painters like Mitsuda, Yvonne Cheng and Don Ed Hardy. Hardy, perhaps the most famous in the bunch, said: "Man, this is fantastic. It's great to have so many of the home crew here."
Hot young painter Jason Teraoka talked hot cars with glass sculptor Jason Minami. Photographer Franco Salmoiraghi said he wasn't going to complain that his prints were in niches near the restrooms. "That way, everybody will have to see them sooner or later."
Cline's done some big mainland projects, including a $3 million collection of L.A. School art for a luxury condo there.
"But this, my heart was really in this one," she said. "I want people to come here and realize that Hawaii art isn't all hideous hibiscuses painted by someone who got here two years ago from Texas."
AUGIE T BACK ON THE AIR
After 18 months -- waiting out a noncompete, working out a deal -- Augie T goes back on the radio in Honolulu, mornings on KQMQ. He starts the day after tomorrow, replacing Devon Nekoba and Chanel, who've been keeping the studio warm since Justin Cruz departed for TV six months ago.
That's not all. Augie (the T's for Tulba) will continue to simulcast on KSRF Kauai, KMKK Molokai, KNUQ Maui and the Big Island, making him the first DJ with a statewide reach, all out of his Ewa Beach home studio.
For seven years, Tulba partnered mornings on Island Rhythm 98.5 with Lanai. The duo was a huge success -- print, TV, nearly every local commercial -- until the two underwent a bitter split in 2006. Lanai stayed, Tulba has moved on, now a competitor.
Comic Kaleo Pilanca replaced Tulba on Island Rhythm 98.5. Pilanca, who never signed a noncompete, also moves on this week, beginning tomorrow as morning man on KDDB "Da Bomb."
WAIKIKI'S OTHER DUKE
Duke Bainum's back in town. He's been spending time on the mainland, taking care of family business and licking his wounds from the personal attacks during the 2004 mayoral campaign.
Now, he says, "I'm dipping my toe in the political waters, exploring a run for state Senate in the 12th District."
That's the same seat for which Brickwood Galuteria just announced his candidacy.
BOOK 'EM, AGENT MADINGER
"You don't look like a cop," I said to John Madinger.
"A lot of people have made that mistake," said the bespectacled, mild-mannered 54-year-old.
Madinger's had a 30-year career in law enforcement, most of it in Hawaii. For 12 years, he was an undercover narcotics officer. "I once bought a ton of marijuana from a smuggler," he says. The smuggler regretted the transaction.
Madinger's now a Treasury Special Agent. He's written a book on money laundering and another on confidential informants, both law enforcement textbooks.
His latest, "Death on Diamond Head," is a novel, detective fiction set in Hawaii.
The book sold briskly as he autographed copies in a downtown bookstore last Thursday. "Did you arrest anyone today?" I asked.
"Didn't see anyone who needed it," he said.
With the Legislature back in session, Ed Kenney's eatery at the state art museum downtown is even more packed than usual. "So crazy, my crew's totally stressed," he says.
But Kenney's a glutton for punishment. He's just back from New York City, where he grazed in five restaurants a night, trendy spots like the Spotted Pig, Tia Pol, Momofuku.
"Kaimuki's ready for that kind of restaurant-hopping," he says. He's already got one restaurant in Kaimuki, Town, but he's eyeing the spaces opened up by the departure of Kaimuki Chop Suey and Quan On.
And he's looking for a landowner to put together an educational organic farm with a for-profit restaurant. "That's on the list of things I want to achieve before I die."
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE INTERNET AGE
Do you know Cindy Combs? The Kauai guitarist is the only woman in Dancing Cat Records' slack-key masters series. A musician's musician, she's also a pretty good cook.
Ron Jacobs of whodaguyhawaii.com called her up, she said, wanting an interview. "He sounded like a wired-up, hyper kind of guy," said Combs. (You got that right, Cindy.) "I didn't think he had time to eat right."
Since Jacobs netcasts out of his Kaneohe manse, she showed up with a bag of groceries and set about making him a pot of chicken soup. Jacobs brought the microphone into the kitchen and did the interview as she chopped and simmered.
"He seemed pretty happy," said Combs. "I told him I drew the line at cleaning. I wasn't coming over with a vacuum cleaner."