Āina Momona

This year, I recognized that an element of service and community were missing in my art practice. I reached out to the Donkey Mill Art Center to see if I could try teaching. They invited me up to participate in a 4-day teaching artists workshop with Meleanna Myers and Soloman Enos, called Pu'uhonua: Shapeshifting, Adaptations, Loving Negotiations. This workshop was a beautiful introduction to teaching place-based education in Hawaiʻi.

I then assisted Gerald Lucena in the 5-week Summer Art Experience at the Donkey Mill. The program's theme was Āina Momona: "land that is rich, plentiful, sweet and fat. A land that is a kind of puʻuhonua (place of refuge), that nourishes and feeds us." We created art lessons that taught students about this abundance through a creative process highlighting our kuleana (responsibility) to mālama (take care) our 'āina (land).

I focused my lessons on abstracted painting, map-making, and 3-dimensional installations that explored upland and near-shore ocean environments. It was a treat to teach this age group and watch them learn the foundations of art through the context of nature and culture.