They may not be in the same artistic orbit with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, but Oahu has its own Dynamic Art Duo in Dexter Doi and Carol D’Angelo. This Kaneohe power couple, well-respected in the local art scene, are finding success both commercially and curatorially.
“Then and Now,” curated by Doi and D’Angelo, opens Saturday at the Honolulu Museum of Art School.
“This is our most ambitious project to date as curators,” Doi said. “We have randomly paired 25 established artists (Then) and 25 emerging artists (Now) to create an exciting compilation of past and present.
“ ‘Then’ in the title refers to the established artists, with their years of experience and knowledge,” Doi said. “ ‘Now’ refers to the emerging artists who are beginning their careers, regardless of age.” Nearly half of the emerging artists are students who are pursuing their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.
The artists include painters, sculptors, woodworkers and printmakers, ranging in age from college students to the 90-year-old Warren Stenberg, who still paints prolifically.
Laura Smith, a preeminent Honolulu printmaker, has been paired with emerging artist April Sham, also a printmaker who works at HoMA School as an educator. They chose to collaborate using woodcut and screenprint on three 12-foot long Tyvek panels.
Their piece, “Over and Over,” is based on the metaphor of the lap swimmer who practices daily, first moving through water as if it were molten lead. With practice, the swimmer begins to glide through the shimmering blue liquid.
Smith and Sham described the process in a statement: “We met multiple times in the Honolulu Printmakers’ studio, where we first created a maquette (scale model of the unfinished sculpture). Next we printed the woodcut elements on three 12-foot-long Tyvek panels over several weeks. The numeric pool markers were screen-printed on the reverse side of each panel.
“The swimmers who float freely amongst the panels are printed in contrasting red. In the end, we, like the lap swimmer, also achieved facility with new work, finding satisfaction.”
ICHIKO HABERLIN of Waikele is one of the emerging artists, working her way through the exhibit process for the first time. Her 48-inch-square piece on canvas, “Forty Years Sin,” commemorates the life of Kayoko Arimoto, whose daughter was abducted by North Korea 37 years ago at the age of 23. Arimoto’s daughter was one of the 13 Japanese victims that North Korea officially admitted to abducting. Arimoto tried valiantly to gather the public’s support to bring her and other abduction victims home. Sadly, on Feb. 3, Arimoto died without seeing her daughter again.
”I hope to bring awareness to this issue and others similar to it,” Haberlin said.
A unique ceramic and cast glass piece by Kenny Kicklighter is sure to catch the eye, with a brilliant aqua-blue disk atop a stark white base. An established artist admired for his unique ceramic sculptures, Kicklighter titled this contemporary abstract work “Ripple.”
“I was inspired by a photograph taken by Alexey Trofimov of Lake Baikal,” says Kicklighter, “and the universal truth that a random act of kindness can have a ‘ripple effect’ on the world.”
Denise Karabinus, an established artist with a studio in the old Blaisdell Hotel on Fort Street Mall, gives the term “wave action” a whole new meaning with her watercolor painting, “Uplift,” in her “Wave Action” series. The watercolor on handmade indigo-dyed paper is 14 inches by 11 inches.
“Wave patterns, layers of sediment and scientific diagrams of the ocean inspire these watercolor paintings,” Karabinus said. “To center myself in my art practice, I often focus on curiosities in the natural world. ‘Wave Action’ (series) is a repetitive painting meditation inspired by the surface of the Ocean.”
Emerging artist Kristelle Kawasaki’s “Reincarnate” is an abstract acrylic painting, inspired by the shapes and colors of cinnabar mushrooms. Kawasaki explains, “They are bright and colorful, in variety of reds, oranges, and yellows, with intricate patterns on the cap and gills. As the mushrooms feed off of dead organisms, they flourish into beautiful life forms, growing stronger and more abundant.
Emerging artist Trevor Kodama, one of the University of Hawaii students, contributed a low-fire earthenware piece, “Buddha Wears Gold.” He said his inspiration comes from having interests in ceramics, Buddhism, and the delightful possibilities allowed when deviating from what’s expected.
“THEN AND NOW”
>> Where: Linekona Gallery, Honolulu Museum of Art School, 1111 Victoria St.
>> When: Opens Saturday, through March 27; gallery hours 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday- Sunday
>> Cost: Free
>> Info: 225-2045, honolulumuseum.org
>> Note: Opening reception from 6-8:30 pm. Saturday; panel discussion/meet the artists: 6-8 p.m. March 12