Opening Reception Photos

We had a beautiful opening of Mālama Wao Akua 2015 last Friday!  We had 154 artists enter with 93 artists selected to be on display representing 60 Maui Nui native species. We would like to thank Bryan Berkowitz/ for volunteering his time that evening to take these amazing photographs that capture the excitement of the evening.  We also would like to thank Judy McCorkle and Tom Reed of Aloha Recycling INC for sponsoring this event and all of the wonderful staff at Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center.


Opening Reception

MWA15 Invite

Opening Reception Friday, September 4th

4pm-5pm: Juror’s Walk Through with jurors Denby Freeland-Cole and Keahi Bustamente

5pm: Opening Presentation

  • Blessing by Gordean Bailey and Hula by Wehiwehi O Leilehua
  • Opening Remarks
  • Mayor Representative Keith Regan
  • EMWP Program Manager
  • Hui No’eau Executive Director
  • Artists Awards


  • Hula by Wehiwehi O Leilehua
  • Light pupu courtesy of Pukalani Superette, Old Lahaina Luau, Flatbread Pizza Co., and Mana Foods with beverages provided by Hui No’eau and Whole Foods Kahului



Other events throughout the exhibit

Talk Story Thursdays 5pm-6pm at the Hui

Each night we will host a different environmental expert:

Sept. 10th: Dr. Art Medeiros, Auwahi Forest Restoration Project, PCSU

Sept. 17th: Fern Duvall II, DLNR/DOFAW Native Ecosystems Protection and Management-Maui Nui Program Manager

Oct. 8th(NEW DATE): Jay Penniman, Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project Manager

Oct. 15th: Scott Crawford, Manuel Majia, Jay Carpio, The Maui Nui Makai Network Experience- Makai to Mauka

Oct. 22nd: Dan Eisenberg, EMWP Program Manager

Oct. 29th: Jordan Jokiel, Haleakalā Ranch Land Manager


MWA Keiki Day: Saturday, Sept. 19th 10am-2pm at the Hui

Join East Maui Watershed Partnership and the Hui for games and crafts for the kids to learn about Maui native species and watersheds.

Native Floras in Watercolor #1185: Sept, 18th & 19th 10am-4pm

Create a watercolor painting that focuses on the beautiful blooms of the wiliwili taught by Carmen Gardner.  Tuition is $130 for Hui members and $162 for nonmembers. Sign up with the Hui at


Malama Wao Akua is generously sponsored by Judy McCorkle and Tom Reed of Aloha Recycling INC

Selected artists for MWA ʻ15!

We want to thank the 154 artists who worked and researched Maui Nui’s native species to enter the exhibit this year!  Whether your piece was selected or not, your dedication to use your talent to help raise awareness about our unique flora and fauna means so much to us.  We sincerely hope you enjoyed the process and possibly found out something new about our beautiful home.  With 210 entries the jurors Keahi Bustamente and Denby Freeland-Cole took over 3.5 hours deciding which 107 pieces made it into the exhibit. We hope that you will continue this educational journey by joining us at all the events throughout the exhibit.

Jurors Walk Through: Friday, Sept. 4th 4-5pm

Blessing and Opening: Friday, Sept. 4th 5-8pm

Talk Story Thursdays: 5-6pm click here for schedule of speakers

MWA Keiki Day: Saturday, Sept. 19th 10-2pm


Mālama Wao Akua 2015—Accepted Works:

B H Freeland
ʻŌhiʻa Lehua
Hoʻomalu O Waikamoi, Drifting Clouds of Waikamoi
Barclay Hill
Sepioteuphis Lessoniana

Read More»

Get to know the Jurors for MWA ’15

For every exhibit we host two jurors that have different backgrounds meshing the two worlds of conservation and art. One juror from the environmental field to focus on the native species aspect and one with a background in the arts to focus on creativity and skill. Together they decide what images get selected for the exhibit.

Keahi Bustamente

Keahi Bustamente

Leeward Haleakalā Watershed Partnership (LHWRP) Field Crew Supervisor

Prior to his work with LHWRP, Keahi worked with Maui Nui Plant Extinction Prevention Program. He has worked on nearly every Island and in nearly every type of ecosystem in Hawaiʻi. Keahi has had no formal training and has acquired his knowledge from his kūpuna (ancestors), time in the field with experienced field biologist, observation, and a deep love for his land (Aloha ʻāina). His interests include rare plants, insects, and snails, and is currently participating in a survey of remaining native land snails in Hawaiʻi.


Denby Freeland-Cole

Denby Freeland-Cole


Denby Freeland-Cole’s career path has involved the arts and environment in Hawaii including positions at the Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center, Hawaii Nature Center and the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. Her recent art works are a collection of watercolors, mixed media paintings and kapa. Her watercolors capture the rhythm of Hawaii’s plants, while the mixed media pieces are playful. Her kapa reflects her respect for Hawaiian culture and environment through an ancient medium.

Denby graduated from Punahou School on Oahu, earned a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Washington, and her Master’s degree in Education at Heritage College, Washington.

MWA Exhibition Info Session


Thursday, July 23rd

5-6pm (at Hui Noʻeau)

This informational session held by East Maui Watershed Partnership (EMWP) will explain what
“Native to Maui Nui” means. EMWP will share ideas on how to research species to find ones
acceptable for the exhibit. EMWP and Hui staff will also be on hand to answers questions
about the exhibit and confirm any species you might already have in mind. Plenty of resources
will be available if you still need to find inspiration!

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