If you’ve been in Wailuku recently, hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to view the new murals that were completed earlier this year. The paintings are a breath of fresh air and a gateway for positivity and change in Wailuku. The murals were created by a team of artists, several who grew up here, in partnership with PangeaSeed Foundation. PangeaSeed is an ‘international non-profit organization acting at the intersection of culture and environmentalism to further the conservation of our oceans’, and to ‘empower individuals and communities to create meaningful environmental change for oceans through Science, Education, and ARTivism (S.E.A.)’
The theme of the mural, “Maukai to Makai”-Mountain to Sea, is now spread out through the town in a dazzling array of color, intention, inspiration and powerful mana. You can discover them on the back of a gas station, apartment buildings and schools. Finding the various locations is an adventure in itself. There are hopes for a future public art program and forum to work with international artists.
Matt Agcolicol, a Maui born artist, coordinated the project, which included an involvement of over 20 artists. The project allowed local and international artists to spend time together creating new pathways of support for the arts, ocean and community. The murals feature scenes from the islands, both realistic and spiritual. The bounty of the aina is woven through the images: taro fields, flowers, verdant hillsides, heavenly oceans and the lush slopes of Maui. Our precious source of life, water, flows through the images in a variety of forms.
Wailuku is a town rich with historical significance as well as a haven for generations of families who have strong ties and roots to the land. The presence of the murals is a visual bridge from the past to the present and ignites the beginning of the town’s beautification. It’s been a bonding activity for the community, international and local artists, civic groups and visitors alike. The realization of the hands of many committed to sharing their gifts, skills, talents and abilities in a collaborative effort has immediate and long reaching effects.
Wailuku hosts first Friday art walk every month, and you can combine this with a mural walk for a full day of experiencing some of the magic that Maui has to share with all.