Kauai show draws enthusiastic artists


POSTED: Sunday, March 08, 2009

On a bleak winter day a year ago, Josha Courtney noticed a splash of vivid gold in the back yard of her Hanapepe home. A solitary wild orchid had appeared overnight and was making a valiant stand amid a scraggly cluster of weeds.





        » Where: Hanapepe, Kauai

        » When: 1 to 9 p.m. March 27 and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. March 28

        » Admission: Free (fee applies for some workshops)

        » Information: 335-5944, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address),

        » Notes: Kauai artists may participate in the art show and competition, themed “;Orchid Fantasy.”; The entry fee is $10; there's a limit of two entries. Print the form on the Web site, fill it out and hand-deliver it with your payment and entry to the Amy Lauren Gallery, 4545 Kona Road, by 4 p.m. March 24. For more information, call Angela Headley at 335-0591.




        March 27

        » Afternoon: Plein-air painters paint in various locations around Hanapepe. Repeats all day Saturday.

        » 1 to 8 p.m.: Spring Fantasy Orchid Show at United Church of Christ. Repeats 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

        » 1 to 9 p.m.: Silent auction at Hanapepe Park and next to the Kauai Fine Arts Gallery, and craft fair at Hanapepe Park. Repeats 10:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Also, art exhibit at Amy Lauren Gallery continuing 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

        » 5 to 8 p.m.: Children's activities at Hawaiian Congregational Church. Repeats 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

        » 6 to 9 p.m.: Concert by Kenny Ray Rapozo and Kelii Kanealii, Hawaiian Congregational Church; also, Friday Art Night with music, demonstrations, special exhibits and refreshments at Hanapepe's galleries

March 28
        » 10 to 11 a.m.: Historic Hanapepe Walking Tour. Meet at the Swinging Bridge; the first 30 people will receive a free map.
        » 10 to 11:45 a.m.: Ikebana workshop at Hawaiian Congregational Church. Mail $15 fee (includes a self-made arrangement) to the Hanapepe Economic Alliance, P.O. Box 935, Hanapepe, HI 96716. Space is limited.
        » 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Watercolor workshop, Hanapepe Park
        » Noon to 2 p.m.: Entertainment by slack-key guitar artist Cindy Combs, Hawaiian Congregational Church
        » 1 to 2:30 p.m.: Vanilla cuisine workshop led by chef Helen Lacono, Hanapepe Cafe (the vanilla bean is the seed pod of the vanilla orchid). Mail $40 fee to HEA. Space is limited.
        » 2 p.m.: Art competition winners announced, Hawaiian Congregational Church
        » 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Concert by slack-key guitar artist Makana, Hawaiian Congregational Church




Although the 77-year-old artist hadn't painted florals before, the beauty of that bloom inspired her to create, primarily using her fingers, a 7-by-9-inch oval-shaped oil of it. “;That was the only way I could capture its softness,”; she said.

It took two months for Courtney to complete the painting, just in time to enter it in the Kauai Orchid and Art Festival's juried art show. “;It didn't win any awards but to me it's really special,”; she said. “;It's displayed in my living room.”;

More than 60 Kauai artists between the ages of 18 and 80 submitted entries for last year's show, and festival organizers are expecting just as enthusiastic a response this year. “;Orchids are lovely, colorful and exotic, so they're popular subjects for artists,”; said Joanna Carolan, an acclaimed artist and one of the festival's founders.

“;Last year's entries represented an amazing variety of styles and compositions, from detailed botanical drawings to digital photography to modern impressionistic and abstract art.”;

Carolan is the owner of Banana Patch Studio in Hanapepe and the treasurer of the Hanapepe Economic Alliance, a nonprofit, community-based organization that aims to preserve and promote the history, heritage and industries of the “;biggest little town on Kauai.”;

Orchids have been cultivated in Hanapepe since the 1950s. Artists of all persuasions began settling in the burg in the 1980s, and today it's known as the “;Art Capital of Kauai.”;

“;When HEA's board was brainstorming ways to raise awareness about Hanapepe, we thought about those two industries and realized they complemented each other very well,”; Carolan said. “;We asked the Garden Island Orchid Society if they would expand their annual Spring Fantasy Show in Hanapepe to include more events and activities. With all the artists in town, it was easy to add the art component, and voila! The Kauai Orchid and Art Festival was born, and is now in its third year.”;

About half of GIOS' 98 members will be displaying 300 of their top specimens in this year's show, which is themed “;Orchids: Nature's Masterpiece.”; Judges from the American Orchid Society will be bestowing first-, second- and third-place ribbons in 30 categories, including Best Angraecum, Best Brassavola and Best Yellow Cattleya. Awards also will be given to the Best Flowering Specimen and Best in Show.

Gwen Teragawa, GIOS' president, will be exhibiting 15 of her prize plants, which she grows in a 60-by-80-foot greenhouse five miles from her Hanapepe home.

“;I started growing orchids about 20 years ago but have only been doing it seriously for six years,”; she said. “;I buy flasks that contain 30 to 100 2-inch orchids. I plant the orchids in pots, and, depending on the variety, it takes two to seven years for the buds to appear. It takes at least another few weeks before the flowers open, and it's so exciting when they do! You never know how they're going to turn out; distinctive color and shape could make some of them award winners.”;

Circles of Light (a nonprofit organization offering creative development, holistic health and cultural education programs) and Van Go! (a mobile art studio) will oversee children's activities, including sand painting, origami and an exhibit of art by kids 5 through 14.

Festival offerings also include handmade local crafts, a silent auction and an enticing array of food that showcases Hawaii's cultural diversity.

“;There will be burgers, hot dogs, fish tacos, chicken satay, shave ice, fruit crepes, adobo, laulau, malasadas, mochi and more,”; said Kimberly Busch-French, the festival's coordinator.

“;Our goal is to connect one side of town to the other with great food, activities and attractions, so there will be ono (delicious) things to taste and fun, interesting things to see and do no matter where you are!”;


Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi is a Honolulu-based freelance writer whose travel features for the Star-Bulletin have won multiple Society of American Travel Writers awards.