First-of-its-kind art exhibit in Hawaii merges local artists with ocean researchers

A new art exhibit in Chinatown is merging the worlds of local ocean researchers and artists.
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 11:14 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new art exhibit in Chinatown is merging the worlds of local ocean researchers and artists.

The exhibit is called “ResilienSEA.”

The new show at the Arts at Marks Garage is a first-of-its-kind endeavor for the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program.

“To really showcase how science and art are truly in relationship with one another. They have a symbiotic relationship,” said Beth Lenz, of the Sea Grant Diversity and Community Engagement.

“We collaborated with three artists, and each of them created multiple pieces that cover different stories of resilience.”

It’s a relationship that’s been around for some time, but not too many people acknowledged.

“And it dates back to, you know, the first method that we had to describe species was simply to record them as human beings with pen and pencil or what have you, but to draw them out and then to be able to compare those drawings as opposed to today, where we have so much technology that aids us in those endeavors,” said Darren Learner, Sea Grant director.

One artist was inspired by the transformation some Hawaii waters saw during the pandemic — when many marine ecosystems healed and began to thrive once again.

“Hanauma Bay. So now there’s been changes based on that response of just giving that space a break, but still making it accessible for people and visitors to see and interact with marine life,” Lenz said.

Other works are meant to show the impact of coral bleaching.

Painter Sheanae Tam said the partnership had her thinking of her artistic process in new ways.

“A takeaway is to let go, let go of every all the control that I think I have and let other elements inform my paintings, like the environment, the people, especially the place that I’m honoring,” Tam said.

Learner added, “What the artist can do in a very different way than a scientist can do is help us better understand how form and function interrelate. And that that’s the magic of both. I think that’s the magic of art, and it’s the magic of science.”

The show runs thru November 25 — and it’s free.

“So really making it accessible, really trying to take down that barrier, those pedestals that have to do with academic research and making it fun and creative,” Lenz said.

On the next two Mondays, Sea Grant will be hosting Science by a Sea Seminars at The ARTS of Marks Garage.

This is where graduate fellows will share their research and stories.

Doors open at 6 p.m.

Click here for more information.