For those of you who are in the space, you might have noticed a little re-decoration besides the sanitizers, uno cards and other COVID-19 precautions-and that’s because we have a NEW Impact Art Gallery!
Meet our resident artist from now until the rest of the year, Dawn Yoshimura.
Born and raised on the Windward side of O’ahu, Dawn is story-based artist. She likes to create plain air paintings where she hears a story about a place (or makes up her own) and paints her response to it. She also has an interest in making ceramic hand-built forms and collaborative projects with other artists or community groups. Dawn has created Straddling Worlds, an art Gallery that is representative of the places she has been to, communities she’s worked with, and stories she has come to discover. All of her artwork on display at the Hub come with a QR code for you to read more about the story that lives in each piece.
One of her better known pieces are called Color Bridges, which are abstract visual prayers of encouragement. Dawn is actually hosting several collaborative workshops to create these Color Bridges in order to bring forth a sense of community, and an opportunity to mentally/spiritually help people struggling during this time of the unknown. Her Color Bridges are a series painted on mulberry paper while she was thinking about how to fuse her values; absorbed growing up here in Hawai’i and her ethnic heritage of Japanese ancestry. Mulberry paper seemed a good common material to use to paint her prayers for peace, encouragement, and acknowledgement of someone pursuing their dreams. A sense of solitude, gratitude and anxiousness are all represented in these pieces since they were done in between shut downs.
Paint Yourself Happy Online workshops allow Hub members to pickup a complimentary art kit, and paint their own Color Bridge alongside Dawn through an online stream. The first workshop is this Friday Oct. 30th, and they will continue through the end of the year. Click here to sign up for this Friday!
- What’s your favorite kind of art?
My favorite kind of art is when I see the hand of the artist responding from direct observation of nature.
- In your opinion, why is art important?
Everyone says art is important–but I find that feeling safe and confident enough to express your creativity is the most important mission in life than any artwork ever created. I teach because I find the majority of people have been wounded quite early in life and when I meet them, they are afraid. They need encouragement and skills to even dare to try to make something that is pleasing…for them. My Color Bridge workshops is about addressing this–I present watercolor as something fun and non-threatening but also a glimpse of the challenge, because if something is too simple or easy, wounded creatives mistrust this and themselves. Effort has to be rewarding. Artwork in the end is just a result. it is the making of art at all levels that is essential for a healthy society. I am an artist, as an artist, we are always asking ‘why’ and observing. Sometimes the artwork produced is groundbreaking and at the edge of comprehension and acceptance. Sometimes it is affirming and endless variations of a theme. Sometimes it is private therapy, not meant for other eyes except God’s. If everyone got art training as children from nurturing adults, we would have more skilled problem solvers, innovators, decorators, inventors, curators, caretakers, writers, filmmakers, singers, engineers, lawyers and musicians. Not everyone needs to become an artist to benefit from learning about and making art. But everyone can benefit from learning about and appreciating art.
- When did you become a member of the Hub?
I became a member because I needed a place to rest and work in town. I hate driving and live in Kaneohe, so I would plan my day so I would drive as little as possible and book as many appointments as I could in one day. The hub was perfectly located, felt like my old offices in Sweden at the Volvo Group and I felt like I had a home in town when I needed it!
Tell me about a piece that will be on display at the Hub?
Arrival of the First Nations is an imagined piece about how Kaneohe Bay may have looked after terraforming began with the ProtoPolynesians planting their canoe plants. I come from Kaneohe so I often fantasized as a kid what is was like when it was a Hawaiian village before it got it’s name.
- Why do you think it’s important to showcase local artists?
It is important to showcase local artists because we have a perspective and sense of time here that doesn’t come from the tourist or frequent visitor. A tourists’ eye of Hawai’i is through the filter of the brand of Hawai’i and the filter of the local is informed with their own history but also of those in their community. If you think of art as only a product–then, yes, you can showcase other producers of art about Hawai’i and it would probably sell well–but art, like language, music and food, is an expression of the culture and times of a specific locale. A traveler will appreciate this nuance and seeks out and enjoys sampling other cultures and can be transformed or enhanced by the experience. If people can’t see local artists at work–they will only see the brand of Hawai’i that tourists pay for. For locals, it is also important to see local artists–because we are mirrors of our community and our work acknowledges their existence and POV and experiences. This can be humorous, political, observational, documentary in nature but without showing local artists–we are all invisible.
- Where can people find you online/get in touch with you?
You can find me at @dawnyoshimurastudio on instagram and facebook, my website or email firstname.lastname@example.org