Call to artists for ‘Hawaiʻi Nei’ exhibition

  • Courtesy image “Holei Sea Arch” by John D. Dawson. This piece was part of the 2017 ‘Hawai‘i Nei’ exhibit at Wailoa Center.

The Three Mountain Alliance, the Hawai‘i Island Art Alliance, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Natural Area Reserves System and Wailoa Center announce “Hawai‘i Nei 2019,” a juried art exhibition celebrating the native flora and fauna of Hawaii Island.

Amateur and professional artists of all ages are invited to submit art pieces highlighting the native plants, animals and habitats of the island. Artwork will be displayed Nov. 1-Dec. 12 at Wailoa Center in Hilo.


All residents of Hawaii Island are eligible to participate.

All submissions must feature a native species of the island, either endemic or indigenous; be original; have been created in the past two years; and have not been previously shown in any other exhibition, gallery, contest or website.

Each year, a featured category is selected to highlight a special species, theme or event. While it is meant to help inspire artists, artwork is not limited strictly to the featured category. The 2019 featured category is “Ko a kai: Marine Species of Hawai‘i Island.”

This year, artists are asked to dive into the ocean realm and celebrate the nearshore native marine plants and animals that make up the coral reef ecosystem. Artists are welcome to include outer edge species that often come into the reefs such as the kohola (humpback whale), nai‘a (spinner dolphin) and ulua (giant trevally).

Artwork in any medium or combination of media is welcome.

Artwork made from native species is strongly discouraged.

Registration is open.

All artwork must be registered online by Oct. 11 at All adult entries will be processed through a registration platform called CaFE ( An online profile must be created to submit artwork. An entry fee and photo of the artwork is required for registration.

Pieces of artwork created by youths will be registered on a separate entry form and are free of charge. A kokua day will be offered in September to help with the registration process.

Initial online screening and jurying will take place Oct. 12th.

Accepted artwork drop-off dates, times and locations are:

• 10-11 a.m. Oct. 25 at Donkey Mill Art Center in Holualoa.

• 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 26 at Wailoa Center.

West Hawaii participants are required to have their items boxed and ready for transport to Hilo.

There are five age divisions: adult, lower elementary school (grades PK-3), upper elementary school (grades 3-5), middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12). Students do not need to be affiliated with a school to enter. Class or group entries also are available for adults and youths.

For adult entries, there will be separate divisions for amateur and professional artists. Artists are asked to use their discretion to choose a division.


Prizes will be awarded for all divisions including youth. A cash prize of $300 also will be awarded for adult Jurors’ Choice.

For more information, the 2019 prospectus and other resources email or visit

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