‘Likoliko No‘eau’ elevates modern ‘ōiwi art

Jan. 23, 2023

A carefully curated collection of artwork produced by Kamehameha Publishing is making ‘ōiwi art more accessible to all. “Likoliko Noʻeau: A Flourishing Tradition of Contemporary Hawaiian Art” features the work of nine Native Hawaiian artists in a first-of-its-kind art print collection.

“Native Hawaiians deserve beauty, cultural connection, and an unfiltered ʻōiwi perspective, every day in their homes, workspaces, and classrooms,” said project editor Meredith Desha Enos KSK’94 – Kamehameha Publishing editorial acquisition and development lead. “We deserve to be surrounded by artwork that lifts up familiar landscapes, faces, plants, and symbols. Art makes the imagined tangible – all these paintings started off as merely an idea.”

Enos worked with renowned visual storyteller and art educator Meleanna Aluli Meyer to select the participating artists for the three-year endeavor. Meyer started with a group of artists she frequently collaborates with – Solomon Enos, Al Lagunero, Harinani Orme and Carl F. K. Pao KSK’89 – as the foundation for the project, because they bring different styles and backgrounds but also artistic excellence.

The 16-print artfolio designed by KS Senior Digital Content Strategist Kanaia Nakamura also highlights work by Roen Hufford, Imaikalani Kalahele, Marie McDonald and Abigail Romanchak. Biographical information for each artist is also shared, along with insights into their background, purpose, and process.

“We wanted to have a good spread of artists who have had formal study of art and those who have not, those who have studied both at the University of Hawaiʻi and beyond, different ages, gender and sexual orientation,” said Enos. “It was also important for us to have artists who have done work in our communities, schools and hālau, political rallies, cultural piko, and rehabilitative spaces, and whose work has had national and sometimes international exposure – ʻŌiwi artists who bring our moʻolelo and aesthetics to new and different spaces.”

Pao, a Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i art kumu, is excited to debut the art collection in his classroom.

“Likoliko Noʻeau is an invaluable tool for any art program aimed at empowering and inspiring haumāna,” said Pao. “‘If you see it, then you can be it’ is so true. That is why this collection is such a vital instrument for teaching our haumāna about modern ‘ōiwi art and the Kanaka Maoli who have made their mark here in our pae’āina and internationally as well.

“As a visual artist of Kanaka Maoli ancestry myself, I am humbled and honored to be included in this collection. Growing up and seeing the murals of Herb Kawainui Kāne and illustrations and carvings of Rocky Kaʻiouliokahihikoloʻehu Jensen really inspired me and gave me artists who I could relate to and emulate.”

According to Enos, art can inspire a broader vision of Hawai‘i. “ʻŌiwi art helps to both ground us in our values, culture, and place, and helps us envision creative and elegant solutions to the increasingly complex problems of modern life. I would love to have these pieces – and others, from the growing body of contemporary ʻōiwi artwork – spark imagination and discussion about our shared vision of our home.”

Art lovers and educators can purchase “Likoliko Noʻeau” prints individually or as a set. Biographical information for each artist is shared with each purchase, along with insights into their background, purpose, and process.

Kamehameha Publishing will continue to offer the collection along with its full catalog of Hawaiian culture-based educational materials to schools across the pae ‘āina at deeply discounted prices.

To learn more about the art collection, and to purchase prints, visit kamehamehapublishing.org/likoliko-noeau.