Completion of the Lāna‘i cultural landscapes mural project was celebrated on January 10th, with nearly 200 community members and guests at Lāna‘i High & Elementary School. The mural was supported through the Native Hawaiian Education cultural literacy grant of the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center, and was the inspiration of Michelle Fujie, whose late grandmother taught art to generations of Lāna‘i residents. The program, a partnership between Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center, Lāna‘i High & Elementary School, and 808 Urban, was supported by community members, businesses, and Pūlama Lāna‘i. Several weeks prior to painting the mural artisans and Lāna‘i High & Elementary School students went out to visit some of Lāna‘i’s storied places, and also conducted interviews with elder residents in order to develop the themes for the mural which covers 3,000 sq. feet of the northwestern wall of the Lāna‘i High & Elementary School Gym.
Mural participants Kaohu Hanog, Selena Romero, and Emily Hera joined their fellow Lānaʻi middle school students for the first piko of 2015. For the past several years, the Lānaʻi Middle School have gathered each Monday below the unpainted gym wall to chant "Kūkilakila o Lānaʻi i ka Laʻi", a mele composed by Anela Evans in honor of the island. The gathering is designed to help students center and reorient themselves on the week ahead. Today was their first day chanting in front of the freshly painted mural. The Lānaʻi Mural Project is led by 808 Urban, Lānaʻi High & Elementary School Junior Board, and the Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Center's Native Hawaiian Education Grant. Photo Simon Tajiri, January 12, 2015
The mural depicts scenes from Lāna‘i's history -- creation, settlement, native lore, historic era, plantation, and on-going practices.
January 10, 2015 Kepā Maly, photo.
Preparation of the wall took place during the last weeks of December, and all the art appeared during the week of Jan. 5-10. Due to barge delays in getting paints on island, the mural wasn't quite finished for the debut on Jan. 10th, so the work was continued through the night. Finishing touches were in place by Sunday afternoon (Jan. 11).