|The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) has awarded 2015 NACF Native Hawaiian Artist Fellowships to twelve artists in the fields of dance, music, visual arts and traditional arts.
The twelve Native Hawaiian artists were chosen through a rigorous selection process among more than 150 applications throughout the Hawaiian Islands and the continental United States. The fellowships recognize exceptional Native Hawaiian artists who have made a significant cultural and community impact in the fields of visual arts, dance, music, and traditional arts.
"NACF is proud to support these kānaka maoli whose commitment to their arts and cultural practice is admirable," said Lulani Arquette, who is Native Hawaiian and NACF President/CEO. "There were many qualified candidates and I wish we could have awarded everyone."
The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation is grateful for the support of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Leonard and Rose Freeman Family Fund at theHawaii Community Foundation and donors like you for making this special Native Hawaiian Fellowship program available.
G. Umi Kai
A master of Native Hawaiian traditional arts who creates weapons and implements, and who works in bone, wood, shark’s teeth and natural cordage employing pre-colonial techniques and tools, Umi’s work is featured in the collections of the Peabody-Essex Museum in Massachusetts, the Captain Cook Museum in England and the Bishop Museum in Hawai`i; and he has shared his knowledge over the past 40 years through workshops, seminars and lectures in various venues. He will launch a master-apprentice program with 10 individuals.
The widely exhibited, exceptional fiber artist, who received his B.F.A. from the University of Hawai`i, Manoa, and who creates sculpture, wearable art and traditional art that breathes life back into Hawaiian customs and empowers the development of contemporary cultural practices and protocols of today, has received numerous awards and exhibited in the US, New Zealand, and Canada. Through his fellowship, Marques will revive the art of creating pe’ahi, the Hawaiian chiefly fan, into the consciousness of his community.
A master teacher of the traditional art of kapa making who creates textured fabric from the bark of the wauke or paper mulberry tree in a process perfected over centuries by Native Hawaiian culture makers, Dalani has exhibited widely in numerous museums and is the owner of Kapa Hawaii where she teaches kapa making and fiber arts for the organization. She will use her fellowship to create a series of garments in kapa design from the 17th to 20th centuries with a title of “Woman Makes the Malo Makes the Man”, predicted to be outstanding.
A talented printmaker whose work addresses the imprint human beings and technology create on the natural environment, and who earned a B.F.A. and M.F.A from the University of Hawai`i, Manoa, her work has been recognized three times by the Hawai`i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and appears in the collections of The White House in Washington D.C. and the Australian National Gallery in Canberra. She will use her fellowship to create and debut a new body of work in Germany that addresses the impact of climate change in Hawai`i.
The creative visual artist, known for exploring the beauty and possibilities at the intersection of things natural and man made through art he creates from “garbage”, and who is earning an M.F.A. from Parsons School of Design in New York, has exhibited at the Honolulu Museum of Art, and the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C. with collections also in Germany and Canada. For his fellowship, he will work with communities in Hawai`i to clear the coastline of waste and debris to create art that addresses coastal sustainability.
Known for the unique, abstract glass sculptures and vessels she creates with smooth flowing lines, often covered with a form-fitted skin of texture and color, this master artist earned an M.F.A from the University of Hawai`i, Manoa, has exhibited internationally in six shows in the last 12 years, and has collections in New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Hawai`i. She will use her fellowship to complete Kalo, a traveling installation of 79 plants made of stone, kapa cloth and newsprint to be exhibited in honor of Queen Lili’uokalani of Hawai`i.
A renowned singer and musician who speaks five languages, Robi has been honored with a Hawaiian Music Award, three Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards and a Grammy award nomination, and has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, enthralled audiences in more than 23 international tours and was the lead singer for the famous Hawaiian Style Band. The singer is active in the language revitalization movement and will compose a collection of music and accompanying curriculum to teach Native Hawaiian children their language and heritage.
A global touring and recording artist whose genre-crossing work strives to “prompt the Native into action and engage our psyche,” and who has been honored with five Nā Hōkū Hanohano music awards and presented in eight international tours, her work “draws directly from ancestral memory and hula practice, with roots in chant that transforms to melody.” During her fellowship year, she will compose chant verses and songs, and create new works to accompany national Hālau touring with her family in 2016.
A legendary composer, storyteller, and folk singer, whose unique activism through music has been featured in national and international news coverage on NPR, NBC, MSN and other media outlets; and who wrote some of the most popular songs of Hawai`i such as Nānākuli (later, Waimanalo) Blues, All Hawai`i Stand Together, Sunlight Moonlight, Liko believes that music is a powerful force for enlightenment and social change. During his fellowship year, he plans to write new compositions and produce The Song of the Sandwich Islands, a rock opera.
The beloved kumu hula of Hālau Na Kamalei o Lililehua, and twenty-five time Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winning legend who has taught next generations of male dancers for over 40 years, and dedicated his celebrated career to the revitalization and perpetuation of Native Hawaiian music and dance, just won his 7th first place honor at the 2015 Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. He will use his fellowship to choreograph and present new work, Ka ‘Aha Kilu Le’ale’a I Ka’akopua at the prestigious 2015 Festival Na Hiwahiwa o Hawai`i event in Japan.
Vicky Holt Takamine
The respected kumu hula, and co-founder of Maoli Arts Month and the Wearable Art Show, with a M.A. in Dance and Dance Ethnology from the University of Hawai`i, Manoa, has touched the lives of many and inspired next generations of hula practitioners through her school of dance, Pua Ali`i `Ilima, and the PA`I Foundation. She will use her fellowship to collaborate with others and begin developing new works in honor of Queen Lili’uokalani, the last queen of Hawai`i, whose 100th anniversary is in 2017.
An 'Olapa and instructor-in-training for Hālau o Kekuhi, with a B. A. in English and a Teaching Certificate from the University of Hawai’i Hilo, Kaui is committed to carrying forward the cultural stories, traditions and dances of her esteemed family legacy through a rigorous, energetic style of hula that contributes to improved community health and wellbeing. Her fellowship support will allow her to continue mentorship to become a kumu hula and author a book on the choreographic theories and practices of her kumu hula Nalani Kanaka’ole.