Koa Gallery at Kapi‘olani Community College reopens to the multiple publics of Hawai‘i on Friday, November 8, 2019. To mark the occasion, the gallery is pleased to present Koa Gallery 1990 – 2000: Selections from an ongoing exhibition history. Far from a comprehensive survey, this exhibition reflects on eight moments in Koa Gallery’s early development in order to encourage renewed interest—personal and professional—in the venue’s future and its storied past.
Where: 4303 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu Hawai‘i 96816
Dates: November 8 – December 21, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, November 8, 5pm – 8pm
Hours of Operation: Wednesday – Saturday 10am – 4pm, and by appointment
Koa Gallery 1990 – 2000: Selections from an ongoing exhibition history is comprised of historical material sourced from the gallery’s incomplete records which include dossiers for over fifty exhibitions realized under former directors Carol Langner (1987 to 1988), Kristen Moore (1989), Frank Sheriff (1989 to 1992), and David Behlke (1993 to 2018). From these dossiers, eight exhibitions were selected and are represented in the gallery, to different degrees, through correspondences, announcement cards, press releases, newspaper clippings, installation images, and other miscellaneous ephemera. Additionally, a grouping of artwork originally shown in these exhibitions is situated in relationship to the historical material.
Selected exhibitions are Toshiko Takaezu (1990), Te Atinga: An exhibition of contemporary Maori Art (1991), Honolulu/New York/Honolulu (1995), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…Not! (1995), Pacific Voices (1997), Avatars of Culture (1998), Ka Una Pa’a…“a wedge that holds fast” (1999), and Master to Apprentice (2000). Artwork by Toshiko Takaezu, Kazu Kauinana, Hal Lum, Noe Tanigawa, Sean K. L. Browne, ‘Īmaikalani Kalāhele, Wright Bowman, Sr., and Kaili Chun are included in the exhibition. The material on view was chosen for many reasons, some practical, some conceptual, and some emotional. Most significantly, the selections demonstrate the ways Koa Gallery consistently provided a platform for art, artists, and communities of Hawai‘i, Oceania, and the Asia-Pacific region across the 1990s.
As a means of further contextualizing its lesser-known history, Koa Gallery will host a series of talk story sessions. Each session will focus on the lived experiences of artists who participated in the exhibitions revisited. These intergenerational get-togethers will provide students, faculty, staff, and communities with an opportunity to reflect on art and exhibition histories of Hawai‘i while reinforcing relationships with one another in an open and informal setting.
Finally, over the course of Koa Gallery 1990 – 2000: Selections from an ongoing exhibition history and within the space of the gallery, printed matter from the gallery’s records will be digitized, uploaded, and eventually made available on the gallery’s webpage. Increasing access to this historical material may in turn generate new research and potential scholarship around Koa Gallery’s exhibition history and the many artists, organizers, and communities who helped to construct it over the years.
About Koa Gallery
Koa Gallery, established in 1987, is a venue nested within Kapi‘olani Community College, in the presence of Lē‘ahi, on the island of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i. A place for collaboration, engagement, and risk-taking through exhibition-making and public programming, Koa Gallery is especially dedicated to art communities of Hawai‘i, Oceania, and the Asia-Pacific region. The gallery’s production is guided by Kapi‘olani Community College’s mission to “prepare indigenous, local, national, and international students for their productive futures,” as well as by the recommendations of Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao.
Ever curious about some of the artwork found around campus?