Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Sunday, July 14, 2024 86° Today's Paper


Murals bring native birds, plants back to Chinatown

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A planter sits adorned with artwork depicting native Hawaiian birds outside the entrance to the Arts at Marks Garage in Chinatown. A new project aims to produce murals along Pauahi Street that will illustrate the native birds and plants once found in the area.

Pedestrians will soon be able to spot more than just automobiles, parking meters and the occasional homeless person near the corner of Nuuanu Avenue and Pauahi Street in Chinatown.

This week, volunteers with the Honolulu Wetland Revival Project are filling a stretch of sidewalk in the area with murals depicting wetland birds and plants that once called the neighborhood home.

Starting with bulb-outs outside the Arts at Marks Garage, artwork depicting alaeula, koloa, nene, kalo and more will extend from that building along Pauahi St. to Rain Honolulu, where two koloa were painted outside the nightclub earlier this week. Along with the art, a “checklist” of the illustrations will be produced and distributed to businesses to help inspire others to “become naturalists for a day” and spend time exploring the area.

The Honolulu Wetland Revival Project was first proposed in 2017 by local artist Kayleigh Chalkowski, who won $1,000 at a community event in June to help fund the artwork. The murals scheduled to be painted this month were all designed to “flow seamlessly and connect with each other from one end of the street to the other,” according to a news release about the project, and are expected to be completed by Friday.

To celebrate the project’s installation, a public celebration is planned from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday as part of the Arts at Marks Garage’s monthly First Friday Art Walk festivities. The party will double as an opening reception for gallery show “E Uhi Wale No, A’ole E Nalo He Imu Puhi”, featuring the works of Imaikalani Kalahele, Bob Freitas and Cory Taum.

Call 521-2903 or visit artsatmarks.com for more information.

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