The Art of Conservation

September 15th-November 7th, 2017!!!
East Maui Watershed Partnership’s artistic celebration of Maui’s native wildlife.
 An annual juried art exhibition at…

Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center in Makawao

East Maui Watershed Partnership (EMWP) and Hui Noʻeau are proud to present Mālama Wao Akua, an artistic celebration of Maui’s native flora and fauna. This juried exhibition is open to Maui residents of all ages, both amateur and professional. Since 2004, MWA has fostered relationships between the people of Maui and our precious native ecosystems. According to Hawaiian tradition, the roots and fruits that provide for the next generations come from “Wao Akua”, the realm of the gods, the upper forested regions of our watersheds.

A portion of all entry fees and art sales will be donated to EMWP for the protection of our native Hawaiian rainforests.

History of Mālama Wao Akua

The idea started when former EMWP employee Kat Lui took an art class with the late Connie Adams. Together they came up with the idea to converge Kat’s two loves of art and science. This idea grew with an informal poll of artists and galleries in upcountry Maui: “What do you think about an art contest to highlight the native flora and fauna of Maui?” The response was “Yes! Let’s do it!”

For 10 years the East Maui Watershed Partnership worked with Viewpoints Gallery in Makawao to produce the Mālama Wao Akua juried art contest. In 2015 the exhibit changed venues to the Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center allowing an expansion in art programs with a focus on native species and educational opportunities for artists. Artists’ young and old, professional and amateur have answered the call to help raise awareness about Maui’s native Hawaiian species and unique island ecosystems.

Starting in the spring of 2004 the challenge went out to Maui: create a piece of artwork, using any type of media, depicting a native plant, animal, insect, or native landscape of Maui. The community answered: from veteran painters to keiki artists, fence builders, teachers, and more. Maui’s artists took to the books, the internet, and into the forest with EMWP to search for inspiration. Every year since then we have had the same call out to artists except for in 2006 when we took a break to try another artistic adventure, Maui Slam: Words for the Watershed. Working with Dave and Chela of Maui Slam, we created a special poetry slam for the watershed.

Take a virtual tour of the artwork! Contest rules may change slightly from year to year, but if you’re interested in participating in the next contest, check out the rules and regulations.