At Maui High School (MHS) in Kahalui, nearly two thousand students, plus faculty and staff, witnessed how a big, bright blue rectangle, painted on the white exterior of the library, located in the central quad, turned into a dynamic, underwater ocean scene. When the school bell rang every forty-five minutes or so, hundreds of people would move from one side of campus to another. Some would stop to take pictures of the mural-in-the-making. Others made encouraging remarks about our progress in creating art with an anti-meth message.
On Friday afternoon East-3 gave a 60-minute workshop to nearly fifty drawing and graphic arts students about the foundations of murals. The first half of class took place in the classroom, and then he led students outdoors, in front of the mural. There, he continued his lesson, introduced the team of artists – RasOne, Tkay and Atres – and made time for students to ask questions – and there were many!
Later on that same day, journalism students filmed and interviewed our team of artists as a test for their communications class. These juniors and seniors asked us challenging questions like: Why do you choose aerosol as your medium? Will you continue to paint murals in the future? What is the connection between the message of the mural – Not Even Once – and the seascape?
In response to the last question, East-3 believes that “murals are all about community, and one thing we all have in common is the ocean that surrounds us. We want to create imaging that connects with everyone” which is why we chose ocean scenes as one of our NEOMP themes.
Some of the distinguishing features of this mural are its grand scale, accurate representation of Hawaiian reef fish, and playful bursts of color.
We would like to send our warmest thanks to muralists Jason Medeiros (Kauai) and RasOne, Timothy Ward, (Las Vegas) for featuring as guest artists on this mural tour.
Also, we are very grateful for our corporate sponsors here in Maui including the Grand Wailea, Mokulele Airlines, Whole Foods and Down to Earth.
Special thanks to Mr. Nico Kalanich; Mr. Bruce Anderson, MHS principal; Mrs. Glenda Joyo, MHS Student Activities Coordinator; Mrs. Georgianna DeCosta, Hawaii Meth Project Program Director; and the team of Hawaii Meth Project volunteers who conducted a fun, lunch-time, anti-meth awareness educational activity during lunch on Friday next to our live painting.
Mahalo nui loa to all and we hope MHS is proud to be part of the inaugural year of this innovative mural project in collaboration with Hawaii Meth Project.
Next mural location is Kona at Kealakehe Elementary with George Joski Baxtor, Micheal Reptank Sato and Floorox LLC (Youth Project Organizers).