By Gary T. Kubota, Star-Bulletin
Participating Haiku students were, from left, Maile
Werner, Adam Chesick, Kira Adams, Moana Wietecha,
Leilani Ellis, and Keaka Paleka. Artist Bruce
Turnbull is kneeling.
New Maui art
The garden at Haiku SchoolBy Gary T. Kubota
helps students understand
local plants and animals
HAIKU, Maui -- Kira Adams likes the way sculpting a Hawaiian owl from surfboard foam took her away from routine study at Haiku School and into exploring the form of an endangered species.
"I thought it was great," said Adams, 11. "It was really fun. It was a whole different experience for me."
Now, about a year and a half later, bird sculptures by Adams and five other students are in final bronze form and on permanent display in a native Hawaiian garden at Haiku School.
"Mala No Na Keiki," or "Garden for the Children," features the Hawaiian crow, owl, hawk and i'iwi, a honey creeper, each set on basalt rocks throughout the garden.
The sculpture garden is the first project of its kind completed on Maui. It involved the collaboration of the state Department of Education and State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.
A $50,000 grant was awarded for the sculpture garden.
The students were led by Maui artist Bruce Turnbull. Turnbull said the sculptures represent the form and movement of the birds in nature.
Turnbull said the work also involved clearing grass and exotic plants from the garden site.
Some native plants including ferns were donated from a garden at the school to become a part of the setting around the sculptures.
Lava rocks were put in the garden to represent Haleakala.
Principal Fern Markgraf said the sculpture garden creates a stimulating setting for learning, and helps students understand and connect with the life cycle of plants and animals.
"It's like a museum on campus," she said. "Recently, a teacher was doing her story telling in the garden."
Adam Chesick, 12, who sculpted an i'iwi for the project, said his work with Turnbull has encouraged students like himself to do art after school.
He's involved in producing videos at his new school, Seabury Hall.
"It encouraged us to do extra-curricular work," said Chesick.