Staff Pick: “Papa wants to know” with Brandy Antonelis

Meet Brandy Antonelis. She’s been HoMA’s Event Manager since 2018.  “I’ve had the opportunity to work on museum events such as ARTafterDARK, Exhibition & Film festival Openings, Donor and Corporate events, and Kama’āina Christmas,” said Antonelis.  “While our events have been on hiatus during the pandemic, I’ve been assisting in the Visitor Information Center and I’m really enjoying the face-to-face time with our members and guests.”

Antonelis chose Papa wants to know by Imaikalani Kalahele from the O Kalani exhibition on view through April 1. The painting is located in the John Dominis and Patches Damon Holt Gallery of the Arts of Hawaii. 

Antonelis explained, “This specific art piece, Papa wants to know, speaks to me on a personal and emotional level. I see a conflict of tradition versus modernity, which I can identify with as a Native Hawaiian navigating my way in the world today.  The Hawaiian creation stories about Papa and Wakea have always fascinated me. I am attracted to the bold colors and the unexpected pop of pink, which has a certain energy or mana about it.  The painting looks as if it’s moving, twirling, and calling out to the viewer, perhaps expecting a reaction. What I love most about this piece is that it is thought-provoking and makes you ponder the kaona, or deeper meaning. It’s what I think is especially unique and beautiful about Hawaiian art, poetry, language, and the people.”