POSTED: Sunday, March 01, 2009

PAINTER Noreen Naughton says her belief about teaching art is that “;it's about teaching the language of art.”; “;Each student can find their own voice,”; says the retired Kapiolani Community College professor. “;It's like music: Learning the cello means navigating the entire instrument and then developing your own style. 'Voice' is an artistic, visual term as well as a musical one.”;

“;Sharing the Knowledge,”; the latest exhibit at Koa Gallery, which runs through March 14, features the distinct and vibrant voices of Naughton and five professional artists who are former students: Chris Lan Hui Chou, Karen Lee, Atsumi Yamamoto, Mari Sakamoto and Reuben Young.

Naughton's paintings share the walls with those of Lee, Chou, Yamamoto and Sakamoto, who also creates a meticulous “;painting”; composed of tiny hand-cut paper circles. Young's contributions are metal sculpture.

While the six artists have clearly distinct styles, visitors say the show still possesses a quality of cohesiveness.

David Behlke, director of the Koa Gallery, attributes this to “;one common thread”;: All the works are “;painterly in gesture,”; reflecting the influence of Naughton's skilled instruction.

Behlke's explanation reinforces Naughton's philosophy on art instruction, which she calls “;a thread of influences.”; Teaching art, she says, means conveying knowledge of the past. As a teacher, Naughton says she passed on the legacy of her own art teachers.

“;I feel art is a continuum,”; she says.

Koa Gallery is located on the Kapiolani Community College campus. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and until 2 p.m. Saturdays. Call 734-9374.