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One of the murals completed in 2016 at SALT at Our Kakaʻako.

POW! WOW! Hawai'i paints a cultural canvas in Our Kaka'ako

Feb. 8, 2017

Contributed by Mae Nishimura

Part of cultivating a strong Native Hawaiian identity for Kamehameha Schools includes embracing culture in the stewardship of its real estate assets. This collaborative event is among many that pay homage to the Hawaiian culture through meaningful and educational design.

Starting Feb. 11, local and international artists from POW! WOW! Hawaiʻi will begin painting multiple murals for the community to enjoy throughout the innovative Our Kakaʻako and SALT at Our Kakaʻako.

Kamehameha Schools’ involvement includes providing the canvas for these large-scale art pieces, and allowing artists to express themselves on walls throughout the neighborhood. The KS Commercial Real Estate division and Jasper Wong, founder of POW! WOW!, teamed up and identified areas within the nine contiguous city blocks, located on KS land between South Street and Ward Avenue.

“The artwork plays an integral part of Kamehameha Schools’ master plan for Our Kakaʻako. The collaboration between Kamehameha Schools and POW! WOW! Hawaiʻi has been taking place since 2011,” says KS Commercial Real Estate Senior Asset Manager Gary Evora. “The success of this project starts with our community and the collective impact of our collaborators for these inspiring community driven programs.”

Many of these murals have an educational, historical, environmental and cultural story background in the design.  John “Prime” Hina, founder of 808 Urban and POW! WOW! Hawaiʻi artist, will be painting a wall near Highway Inn fronting Coral Street. The concept of his mural is the story of Kāmehaʻikana in Waipao. Hina’s interpretation of the moʻolelo is, in some stories, Kāmehaʻikana is the human form of Haumea (Mother Earth) and she visits the sacred pool called Haʻakōlea in Waipao. Kāmehaʻikana was worshiped by Kamehameha to rule all the land.

Annually, this event inspires culture, music and art appreciation for the community. This year, the event will run from Feb. 11- 18, starting with Honolulu Night Market this Saturday, Feb. 11 held at the Wade Warehouses in Our Kakaʻako, and ends with a POW! WOW! concert on Saturday, Feb. 18 held at Makers and Tasters. View the artist’s mural painting schedule on the POW! WOW! website. This innovative collaboration was recently shared by the New York Times, and also in the years prior on television with NBC News.

Get a glimpse of Kakaʻako’s newest urban art pieces in the I Mua Newsroom photo album, "Murals ARTiculate culture, history and creativity at Our Kakaʻako."

SP2020 is a five-year strategic plan that will guide Kamehameha Schools from 2015 to 2020. The plan marks a starting point toward KS’ Vision 2040, which envisions success for all Native Hawaiian learners.

This collaborative project addresses Goal 3 of SP2020 which calls for shared customs, values and behaviors that strengthen KS’ identity as a Native Hawaiian organization. It also supports Action 6 of Kamehameha’s Ten Actions for fiscal year 2016-2017 relating to adopting cultural principles.

Starting Feb. 11, local and international artists from POW! WOW! Hawaiʻi will begin painting multiple murals throughout Our Kakaʻako. Pictured here Kamea Hadar, POW! WOW! Hawaiʻi Co-Lead Director.
Credit: Michael Young

Walk the nine blocks of Our Kakaʻako from Feb. 13-18 to catch these talented artists in action.
Credit: Jonas Maon

Sketch provided by John "Prime" Hina. This mural will be painted near Highway Inn facing Coral Street at SALT at Our Kakaʻako.
Credit: John "Prime" Hina

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