I had some thoughts about what we’re doing here after reflecting on the events of the night and looking at these pictures. No matter what becomes of these efforts and what success we may or may not enjoy as individual artists or as a group, what I’m most aware of is an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what has passed so far and for the people who have helped bring it about.
So many have worked so hard to create programs and environments to support artists; and for me personally most of it passed right under the radar. It wasn’t until I stumbled into the doors of HOEA that I began to feel the excitement of participating with others in an area that for me was very isolated. My thanks go out to all those in the community who have guided me and helped me to take part in the creation of this new leg in the journey.
Without HOEA I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet some of these people. I don’t know if I could have appreciated the value of collaboration that led to the launch of the Waimea Artists’ Guild. Without the generosity and support of the KHF Board of Directors (the entity behind HOEA) we wouldn’t have the equipment that we use in this facility to create our pieces and for that we are truly grateful. Thanks to their generosity, we are able to support not just our members, but the community. The community has already come to our doors before we even finished cleaning house, participated in the classes we’ve offered, and walked away with new ways to foster their own creative expression.
There are too many people to name and, in my ignorance of past efforts and events, I know I would be slighting someone whose work was essential to us being where we are now. It’s more than the equipment, or the space, or the name, or even the pieces that we produce that makes me feel so overwhelmed. It’s the people that we’ve had the privilege to work with on this journey that makes it worthwhile.
So, that being said, whew, Friday night was just wonderful. Reverend Virginia Barnes of West Hawaii Center for Spiritual Living Church in Waikoloa and Lanakila Mangauil a very special young cultural practitioner from Hamakua blessed the studio and everyone present with the intention of great success. The weather was perfect, the food was great, the music was smooth, and the crowd of people who came out to show their support was very generous and kind. WAG member Ti deL’abre, with some brave and willing accomplices (my mother among them), spent many uncomfortable hours on the cement floor carefully laying individual flowers down to create our spiritually centering mandala to help further our intention for a creative and fulfilling success in the future. The space was immaculate thanks to Jennifer Bryan’s long hours of scrubbing and decorating. Between her and Waimakalani Iona’s focused direction they were able to wrangle us misfits into shape and put on a beautiful party.
Thanks to the amazing Sarah Anderson, for photographing the event and providing us with these photographs (the good ones); to Danny Toft and his friend Marcelino who provided us with a lovely soundtrack to the evening; to Baker Tom who made the incredible coconut cake; to all the Guild members who helped prepare the space – Barbara and Geoffrey, you especially; to our very patient landlords, Glen and Cynthia Lindsey; to James, my brother from another mother, steadfast as ever; and to my beautiful wife Beth without whom, in my opinion, none of this would have happened.