Art blends fun into dads' day


POSTED: Monday, June 22, 2009

Several fathers enjoyed their special day yesterday at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

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The Hawaii Kai Lion's Club received a huge turnout for Father's Day pancake breakfast.

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“;It's nice to be out with my daughter,”; said Eric Harwit, 46, who was watching his daughter Mari at a craft table decorate a lunch bag with purple masking tape. “;She really likes art.”;

The Beretania Street museum held its free Bank of Hawaii Family Sunday event, which features arts and crafts for family members every third Sunday each month.

“;For me it's a good opportunity for her to develop those skills using the different kinds of art materials that she wouldn't have at home,”; Harwit said.

The event focused on “;founding fathers”; in the art collection and also displayed Lego artwork and model planes.

Michael D'Andrea, 58, of Kaneohe went with his wife and 10-year-old daughter, Mahealani. He found the exhibits and craft tables relaxing and stimulating.

“;We learned quite a bit about different artists,”; he said. “;It's a great time to celebrate the father's role in the family ... learning together and enjoying the aesthetics of art together.

“;In this busy world, we don't often take the time to celebrate the father and the fathers who contributed to the art work here,”; the University of Hawaii counseling professor said.

Along with the art displays, families participated in a gallery hunt of artists and made lunch bags, art cards and clay figures.

“;It's a celebration of the things that fathers do to help you out,”; Mahealani said.

Errol Wong, 48, said he was drawn to the museum because of the different activities available for his wife, Lori, 5-year-old son, Beren, and 16-year-old daughter, Kira.

Beren made a clay Mickey Mouse, while Kira practiced making different kinds of knots.

“;It's really great being a dad. It's a lot of fun. It keeps you young,”; said Wong, a systems engineer from Punchbowl. “;They always say it's about seeing through the eyes of the child and it's really true. Everything is new.”;