Wyland completed the refurbishment of one of his whale murals at the Royal Aloha in Waikiki this afternoon.
The 16-story mural at 1909 Ala Wai Blvd. was the 67th of 100 “Whaling Walls” Wyland painted as part of a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of conservation for marine animals. It was originally completed on Earth Day in 1995 and signed by Wyland’s friend, the late Pat Morita, who played Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid.”
“There are just some people here that are unforgettable, and Pat was one of them,” said Wyland. “He was just a real character, beautiful for his family and friends. He really represented the aloha spirit.”
While the wall, visible from Kalakaua Avenue, held up pretty well, it was time to refurbish it.
Wyland began repainting the mural, featuring a mother and its calf, along with a breaching whale above them against a deep blue ocean and sky, on Wednesday. He put the finishing touches on it this afternoon.
The newly refurbished mural features some new elements, including an iwa bird and Diamond Head, which were contributions from artists Walfrido Garcia and Hilton Alves.
A rainbow, which was part of the original mural, did not become part of the new one.
“That’s how rainbows are,” said Wyland. “They come and go, and sometimes the rainbow appears, and sometimes it disappears.”
He kept Morita’s signature to honor his late friend. Upon finishing Wyland said he looked up at the sky and said, “This one’s for you, Pat.”