Artists of Hawai‘i Now - Featured Artists

Nāʻālehu Anthony


Artwork title: Holomua

Nāʻālehu Anthony is a Native Hawaiian filmmaker from Kaʻaʻawa, O‘ahu.

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He is the founder of Palikū Documentary Films – a production company that focuses on documentaries and oral histories with a special emphasis on Hawaiʻi and its people. Anthony has a vast array of experience in the film industry and has been immersed in the Hawaiian community throughout his life. His desire to give voice to Hawaiʻi’s stories as told by Hawaiians from our perspective is the very reason Nāʻālehu pursued a career in film and television.

Nāʻālehu’s other great passion is being a part of the voyaging community. As a crew member since 1996 and more recently as a captain aboard Hōkūleʻa, his voyaging experiences have shaped and defined him as a person and has been a focal point for his films. He was in charge of on board communications for the team that documented the Worldwide Voyage and sailed multiple legs of the journey.

Gwen Arkin


Artwork title: Photographs of Hawaiian Algae: Cyanotype Impressions

Gwen Arkin is an artist based in Maui.

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She finds inspiration in earlier photographic processes—particularly the art of the handcrafted prints that belong to the tradition of light-sensitive printmaking.

She employs expired film, printmaking, and experimental photographic processes in her search for beauty and unexpected outcomes. Her work is held by international private and public collections, including the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. Her copperplate photogravure The Garden House  is featured on the cover of Garden Time—the 2016 collection of poetry by W.S. Merwin. Arkin received her BFA from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and her MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She teaches art, photography, and design at the University of Hawaiʻi, Maui College.

Andy Behrle


Artwork title: Ku‘u Hae Aloha (My Beloved Flag)

Andy Behrle was born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts and resides in Kamuela, Hawaiʻi.

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As a philosophy & religion major at Elmira College in New York, he began to associate existential thoughts and invisible realities of our universe with the language of objects. While pursuing his MFA in sculpture at Arizona State University, he turned to creating installations that explored time’s passage and nature’s cycle. His recent experiential site-specific installations use light, sound, and digital video to produce tangible objects that make imperceptible realities visible through cutting-edge technologies. Behrle has received numerous grants, awards, and residencies, and has exhibited in multiple solo and group exhibitions, including numerous light art festivals throughout Africa, Europe, and North America.

Gaye Chan


Artwork title: Wanted: Basket makers Apply Here. Will Train

Gaye Chan was born in Hong Kong, immigrated to the United States in 1969, and is based in Kāne‘ohe, Hawaiʻi.

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She is a conceptual artist who is recognized for her solo and collaborative activities that take place in virtual space, in publications, on the streets as well as in galleries. Past exhibition venues include Art in General (New York City), Articule (Montreal), Artspeak (Vancouver), Asia Society (New York City), Gallery 4A (Sydney), SF Camerawork (San Francisco), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), and YYZ Artist Outlet (Toronto). She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and is currently the interim Associate Dean for Administration of the College of Arts, Languages & Letters at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Jennifer Goya


Artwork title: Remember ‘Ōhiʻa

Jennifer Goya is a new media artist born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

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Her work explores the concept of memories as they pulsate through lived and artificial experiences utilizing film, web design, and audio/visual programming. She received her MFA in Computer Art from the School of Visual Arts in New York and her BA in Video Art from Hampshire College in Massachusetts.

Lynda Hess


Artwork title: 1,000 Flowers

Lynda Hess is an artist based in Waimānalo, Hawaiʻi.

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During a more than 30-year painting career, she showed extensively on O‘ahu, holding solo shows in Honolulu, Nagoya, Japan and Dallas, Texas. Recently, she has transitioned to mixed media installations that were presented at Pegge Hopper Gallery (Honolulu) and Mori @ HISAM (Hawaii State Art Museum). Aside from her own artistic production, Hess has written and edited various books and articles on art over the years, served as an art reviewer for the Honolulu Weekly, and produced and directed a short film on Masami Teraoka. She received her BA in art history from the University of Hawaiʻi.

Christopher Kahunahana


Artwork title: Piko

Christopher Kahunahana is a Kānaka Maoli filmmaker based in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

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He is a Sundance Institute Feature Film and Native Lab Alumni and founder of 4th World Film. He directed LĀHAINĀ NOON, which is currently streaming on the Criterion Channel. He also directed a documentary for the Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Pacific American “A Day in the Life” project. Kahunahana is best known as the writer and director of WAIKIKI which received the Grand Jury Award for Best US Narrative Feature, Special Jury Award for Best Cinematography (The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival) as well as the Best Made in Hawaiʻi Feature Film and a Jury Award for Best Cinematography (Hawaiʻi International Film Festival.) In 2019 he contributed his services to Na Leo Kākoʻo, the media arm of the kiaʻi of Maunakea. He is currently developing ʻAIMANʻ a near-future sci-fi episodic centered on Oceanic climate refugees and the birth of the first human AI-hybrid.

Kapulani Landgraf


Artwork title: Māmakakaua

Kapulani Landgraf was born and raised in Pūʻahuʻula, Kāneʻohe.

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Kapulani is an Associate Professor of Art at Kapiʻolani Community College but is currently a Title III Project Director.

Nicole Naone


Artwork title: Piko

Nicole Naone is a producer currently based in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

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She is a Kamehameha Schools graduate and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Sculpture from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where she was the recipient of the David H. and Doris C. Cromwell Award of Excellence and has been honored as a distinguished alumna by the Arts and Culture Program. Her most notable film production credits include producing the award winning feature film, WAIKIKI as well as a short film LĀHAINĀ NOON, and is currently about to start production of a short film she wrote titled Stock Photo. Naone has contributed her mastery of visual communication to many spaces of Native Hawaiian resistance, most recently in the fight to protect Maunakea.

Daniel Kauwila Mahi


Artwork title: Kuikawalakii

Daniel Kauwila Mahi is an ʻŌiwi Hawaiʻi visual artist, researcher, video game designer, and composer based in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

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Kauwila’s art embodies genealogical rhythms of sovereignty, solidarity, ceremony, and contested governance through ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. His work traverses an Indigenous future, while refusing state-sponsored, violent reproductions of militourism and missionaries. Kauwila’s work is inspired by his matriarchal genealogy of lei makers, feather workers, and Hawaiian Sovereignty photographers.

Lanakila Mangauil


Artwork title: Piko

Lanakila Mangauil is a Kānaka Maoli born and raised in Hāmākua, Honoka‘a, of Hawai‘i Island.

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Growing up in the forests of Ahualoa and down in Waipi‘o Valley, he was raised by and able to learn from a wide range of Hawaiian practitioners. Mangauil graduated from Kanu O Ka ʻĀina NCPCS in 2004 and became a Hawaiian studies teacher with the DOE Kūpuna/Mākua program, providing cultural education and expanded after-school programs to the Hawai‘i Public Schools for nearly ten years. In addition to working in public education, he launched The Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hāmākua. He is best known for his activism and his successful disruption of the 2014 TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope) groundbreaking ceremony, which sparked the current Maunakea movement of today.

John Mantanona


Artwork title: Ka Po‘e o Kaka‘ako

John Mantanona lived on the streets of Kaka‘ako for over 20 years.

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Mantanona was recognized as the go-to person for dry clothes, extra tents, tools, or food at any time of the day or night. He worked in the kitchen at Michel’s, Nick’s Fishmarket, and other eateries. Currently, Mantanona lives at a transitional shelter and works full time at the Institute for Human Services. Mantanona has deep connections on the Kakaʻako waterfront and is a founding member of Ka Po‘e o Kaka‘ako.

Manu Mei-Singh


Artwork title: Wages: What are we worth?

Manu Mei-Singh is a multi-media artist based in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

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He works with paper, sequential narratives, and digital as well as generative art to explore the social structures and tensions with the US Empire’s economic landscape. His mathematically logical landscape employs visually enticing and emotionally alluring colors, wave forms, flora, and fauna to chart how individuals create emotional apparatuses to cope, fight, change, or simply exist within this inegalitarian society.

Cara Oba


Artwork title: Dreaming of Home

Cara Oba is a design strategist based in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, facilitating organizational change in the nonprofit and public sectors.

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Her goal is to use technology—both analog and digital platforms—to support and foster community relationships. Her art explores individual expression, agency, and the social body in contexts of collaboration and shared spaces. Her educational background is in mechanical engineering and industrial design with an emphasis on ethnographic methods and a research-based process.

Kyle Oba


Artwork title: Dreaming of Home

Kyle Oba is a programmer living in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

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He uses software development to facilitate design interventions. His experimental art practice integrates new technologies—computer vision, machine learning, mobile and distributed systems—to solve problems, study human behavior, and question conventional commercial and social use of new technologies. More interesting than the technology itself, he believes, are the local contexts and reasons why and how we use our technology.

Aura Reyes


Artwork title: Ka Po‘e o Kaka‘ako

Aura Reyes is a community builder based in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

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Reyes lived unsheltered for nearly eight years and spent her last five years, in Kaka‘ako. While there she forged connections between the houseless community and service providers. Currently, Reyes sits on the Board of Partners in Care, which coordinates O‘ahu houseless services. She is an Affordable Housing for All Fellow, linking housing struggles across the state. Reyes is a founding member of Ka Po‘e o Kaka‘ako.

Juvana Soliven


Artwork title: Body Weaponized

Juvana Soliven is a sculptor and educator from Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

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She earned an MFA in metalsmithing at Cranbrook Academy of Art, a BFA in sculpture from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and studied art restoration and conservation at Lorenzo de’ Medici International School in Florence, Italy. Soliven teaches in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and in the Fine Arts Department at Chaminade University of Honolulu. Her work is in the collections of Cranbrook Art Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, as well as in private collections. Soliven has exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Netherlands, Germany, and Iceland.

Noe Tanigawa


Artwork title: Ka Po‘e o Kaka‘ako

Noe Tanigawa is an artist and award-winning journalist based in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

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Tanigawa won the 2021 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her series, “Unsheltered in Honolulu” on Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Her bi-weekly program, the Aloha Friday Conversation, covers art, culture, and ideas in Hawaiʻi. Tanigawa’s most recent arts residency was in 2015, for the Art in Embassies Program with the U.S. State Department, in the Republic of Palau.