Beaches, waterfalls, and world-class golf courses are awesome, but there’s even more to see and do in Honolulu this summer, especially if you love art. Hawaii has a storied art history and every August, Honolulu becomes the cultural epicenter of it all. Highlighted by Waikiki Artfest, and including a wide range of museum exhibits, the Big Island is the place to be this month. Take a break from your adventures and add a little more culture to your life with these August art events in Honolulu.
Located in Kapiolani Park at the Diamond Head end of Waikiki and across from the entrance to the Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Artfest hosts more than 75 of Hawaii's top artists. In addition to drawings, paintings, and photography, look for artisans whose works include glass, ceramics, photography, jewelry, fiber art, and fine art. Have a listen to the sounds of mellow Hawaiian music and don't forget to cool down with a tasty shaved ice.
The festival runs August 26 and 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free. The event is held by the Handcrafters & Artisans Alliance, a non-profit trade association of handcrafters
Honolulu Museum of Art
The Honolulu Museum of Art is Hawaii’s largest private presenter of visual arts programs. Their internationally recognized collection of more than 50,000 works spans over 5,000 years. The museum has been the city’s go to cultural hub since 1927. As a bonus, your ticket to the museum includes entrance into the Spalding House.
The Spalding House, the Honolulu Museum of Art’s second location, features several art galleries, a permanent installation of David Hockney's L'Enfant et les sortilèges, and a number of sculpture-filled gardens overlooking Diamond Head and Honolulu.
Honolulu Museum of Art School
If you like to create art, as well as enjoy it, head to the Honolulu Museum of Art School in the historic Linekona building for an art class. While the Museum has offered classes since its inception, they stepped up their game by opening the Art School in 1990. They see over 60,000 children and adults each year walk through their doors for studio art classes, workshops with visiting artists, school programs, outreach programs, and exhibitions.
First Hawaiian Center
If you’re interested in studying the works of Hawaiian artists, walk through the exhibition space at the First Hawaiian Center.
Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture, and Design
This Honolulu home of American heir and philanthropist Doris Duke opened to the public as a museum in 2002. Duke traveled throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, collecting thousands of pieces of art. The Shangri La permanent collection features over 4,000 objects that include more than 2,500 objects from Spain, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Central Asia, India, and parts of Southeast Asia.
Bishop Museum was established in 1889 to preserve and share the natural and cultural history of Hawaii and the Pacific. It currently houses and cares for over 24 million historical, cultural, and natural treasures that tell a story on the beginnings of island life. In addition, Bishop Museum host temporary exhibitions like the two listed below.
- The Machine Inside: Biomechanics runs through September 4, in the Castle Memorial Building. The exhibit teaches visitors how every living thing is a complex machine built to survive, move, and discover their surrounding environments.
- Hulia ʻAno: Inspired Patterns runs through October 16, in the J. M. Long Gallery. The exhibit examines the ʻano—or nature—of an object in pattern, shape, and form. Enjoy their interactive stations enabling visitors to create their own Hawaiian design motifs while drawing inspiration from the accompanying displays of traditional cultural objects.
Study Hawaiian Culture
Whether you’re looking to add to your art collection or just want to check out the creations of your fellow Hawaiians, Honolulu is the place to be in August. Encourage, excite, and awaken your sense of discovery with a visit to one of these great art venues this summer. And, when you run out of wall space to hang your favorite pieces, simply drop off the extras at your unit in StorQuest Self Storage on Kawaiahao Street. We’re here to help you live life to the fullest and experience more!