Wailoa announces invitational art show

  • 'Ke Ali‘i' by Ed Kayton. (Courtesy photo)
  • Pots by Kainoa Makua. (Courtesy photo)

Nelson and Kainoa Makua of Na Makua Designs will be producing the “MANA 2019 Invitational Art Show” to be held at Wailoa Center in Hilo on April 5-April 26.

There will be a reception for the artists from 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 5. It will showcase artwork by Nelson and ceramics by Kainoa along with art by other noted island artists.


“We had always wanted to present an art show of our own” said Nelson, “but it usually takes years to reserve a date at Wailoa Center. However, due to a cancellation, we were offered the venue to present our own art show. We are so grateful to Codie King from the Wailoa Center for giving us this unique opportunity.

“Unlike most art shows, this is not a juried show. We wanted the artist to be their own judge and allowed them to submit art that had been previously shown, old or new. We were more interested in art that the artist personally felt represented their vision and mana,” said Makua.

Artists invited to participate in MANA 2019 include Ed Kayton, Kathy Long, Bernice Akamine, Kauanoe Chang, James Kanani Kaulukukui, Pi‘iali‘i Zorn Lawson, Maile Luuwai, Kalei Nuuhiwa, Jimie Ramos, Kaohu Seto, Scott Manley, Linda Stevens, Ronald Kanakanui, Dean Ka‘ahanui, Myles Sumida, David Young, Richard Mortemore, Tim Goalen, Dominic Tidmarsh and Tom Kuali‘i.

Also invited to participate are the students of Nawahiokalani‘opu‘u, a Hawaiian language charter school. “We felt this would add a multi-generational perspective of what mana is.”

Nelson Makua has been an artist and designer on the Big Island for more than 40 years. Nelson and his son Kainoa are the design team which makes up Nelson Makua Design and Na Makua. He is a two-time Na Hoku Hanohano award winner for graphic design and is the only artist to have created eight years of Merrie Monarch Festival posters.

His range of work includes photography, illustration, package design, retail store design, book design, computer graphics and digital art. In 1999, Makua and his son Kainoa introduced their line of casual Hawaiian wear under the brand of Na Makua.

Kainoa Makua is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and earned his B.A. in fine arts from UH-Hilo. It was while he was at Kamehameha Schools, after exploring various art mediums, that he discovered his passion for ceramics.

His pieces are a blend of functionality and aesthetics, but they are uniquely his and express a Hawaiian point of view. By incorporating contemporary graphic design with traditional Hawaiian motif, Kainoa’s clay creations reflect the duality of the modern Hawaiian artist and traditional values of kanaka maoli. Kainoa’s ceramic have been featured at the Bishop Museum, Viewpoints Gallery on Maui and in various exhibitions throughout the state.

For more information on this exhibit contact Nelson Makua at puna@namakua.com or 808-966-4647.


Wailoa Center is a Division of State Parks, Department of Land and Natural Resources. It is free and opened to the public 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The Center is closed on weekends and state holidays.

For additional information please call 933-0416 or email wailoa@yahoo.com, or visit wailoacenter.com

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