A playful mother monk seal and her cub immortalized in stone is the most recent artistic addition to the UH Maui College campus, and on January 29th the sculpture named Kūlapa Kai (to frolic in the ocean) is set to be officially blessed at 4:30pm. The public is welcome to attend.
The sculpture, carved from a solid block of New Zealand marble by local artists Bruce Turnbull, and Kim Mosley, is part of a gift from Jim and Mary Hirshfield’s “Summit Foundation” which seeks to leave artistic legacies in the form of sculptures, notably of animals that live in a particular region.
“Ever since we honeymooned here 47 years ago, Maui has held a special place in our hearts,” said Jim Hirshfield. “We are pleased to be able to return some of the joy we have received by supporting the college and through it the broader Maui community with this gift.”
Kūlapa Kai is set on a small, grassy knoll between the campus’ Kalama and Noiʻi buildings, and provides a contemplative spot for faculty, students, and visitors. The sculpture took nearly a year to complete, with the majority of the carving done at Turnbull’s Kahakuloa studio. The piece was lifted by crane and placed on campus last August. Students at the college particpated in sanding and finishing demonstrations, and learned how to grind, polish, and chisel the stone with power and hand tools for the statue’s finishing touches.
“We sincerely appreciate this beautiful addition to our campus,” said Chancellor Lui K. Hokoana. “I’ve already heard from faculty and students about how much they enjoy the new piece, and it was a wonderful opportunity for our art students to get some hands-on learning as well.”
“I love walking around the piece […]