Mālama Wao Akua is a unique exhibit that hosts two jurors from different backgrounds. One that is based in art and looks at entries from an artistic standpoint and one that is based in science and focuses on the conservation and native species elements. This allows pieces chosen for the exhibit to be a true blend of both art and science!
Tamara Sherrill, Executive Director at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens
Tamara Sherrill has worked 14 years with Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, a public native plant garden in Kahului. She was instrumental in building the MNBG plant collection which features coastal and low elevation plants of Maui County, and pre-European contact cultivars of kalo and other food plants. She holds a Natural Resources Management BS from UH Manoa and was a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife while attending college. She first became interested in native plants while working as a landscaper in Wailea, and learned by hiking with the Native Hawaiian Plant Society.
Mike Takemoto, Visual Artist and Associate Professor of Art at UH Maui College
Takemoto graduated from Baldwin High School and received a BFA in Drawing, Painting and Printmaking from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. He earned an MA and an MFA in Drawing and Painting from Northern Illinois University.
Takemoto has exhibited his paintings, murals, sculpture, and installations at various locations in Hawai’i, including the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center. In 2003, his work was featured in the 6th Biennial of Hawai’i Artists at the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu.
At UHMC, Takemoto teaches courses in art appreciation, drawing, painting, and printmaking. He has also worked as a teaching artist with the Maui Arts and Cultural Center education program; the Artists-in-the-Schools Program, and the Art Exploratory.