Zoo fence artists face another challenge - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Zoo fence artists face another challenge

Yuri Farrant Yuri Farrant
Margaret Giles Margaret Giles

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Already facing eviction, zoo fence artists in Waikiki have another challenge on their canvasses to deal with.

Some people feel the artists need to go because of commercialism concerns at Kapiolani Park.

But, the Zoo Fence Artists are feeling brushed off by the economy as well. For more than 50 years, they set up along the fence of the Honolulu Zoo.

What makes them unique is that they display and sell their own work, unlike a gallery where a salesperson sells it for the artists.

But lately, the sales have been anything but picture perfect.

"The tourists now are actually saying that I'd love to buy it, but I don't have any money, so they're cutting out I guess art is one of the things easily expendable," Artist Yuri Farrant said.

For three years, Yuri Farrant has sold his work here. his high resolution photos haven't resulted in high sales.

"You've seen some traffic, but a lot of times it's like a ghost town," he said. "It's way down, the traffic is way down from what it used to be."

It's forced some artists to bring their work here instead of displaying them in galleries.

"They're here because, well a lot of them, maybe they're in the galleries and the galleries aren't maybe doing as well," Art on the Zoo Fence board member Margaret Giles said.

Farrant has high hopes for his snapshots of Hawaii's beauty, so until the economy turns around, he's being forced to tough it out.

"There's no rhyme or reason to it," he said. "All of a sudden you'll sell, you could have two days of great and then maybe some people down here don't sell stuff for a couple of months."

The zoo fence artists are currently waiting for a court ruling on their eviction. It's not known when that'll happen.

"We want to hang in there hoping that things will get a little better down the line," Giles said.

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