‘Ho‘okupu’ exhibit opens at VAC

  • Courtesy photo 'Hoʻokupu,' original pastel by Kathy Long.

  • Courtesy photo 'Hula Rainbow,' original pastel by Kathy Long.

  • Courtesy photo 'Lehua Nani,' original pastel by Kathy Long.

Volcano Art Center presents a new collection of pastel paintings by Hawaii Island portrait artist Kathy Long. The exhibit, titled ‘Ho‘okupu,’ features 13 pastel paintings, nine of which have never been seen before.

The exhibition opened Saturday and will continue through Nov. 7. The exhibit is open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the VAC Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The exhibit can also be viewed online at www.volcanoartcenter.org

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“[It is] my gift to the beauty that is Kilauea, Mauna Loa and the people who cherish it,” said Long about the collection.

“In the middle of the ocean lies a treasure of unique beauty. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park runs from the mountains to the sea, an ever changing environment, an evolving tapestry of forest, barren rock desert and restless shores. It was here, in October of 1982, that I first experienced hula kahiko, or ancient hula, down on the floor of the Kilauea caldera, by the fire pit, Halema‘uma‘u. The combination of the artistry that I witnessed and the environment of Kilauea itself left an indelible mark on my spirit and I have painted paintings of the Hawaiian culture and the park, for 39 years.”

Since 1982, she has called the Big Island “home” once again. Daughter of the well-known artist Mary Koski, Long lived in Hilo until she was eight. Her family then moved to the U.S. mainland and later to Europe, where she graduated from one of the oldest schools in Scandinavia, and made her debut at the highly respected Waino Aaltonen Museum in Finland.

In 1979, Long and her art historian husband Bertil moved to Houston, Texas to open a highly successful fine arts gallery. In 1982 they moved to Waimea on Big Island where Bertil was curator of Richard Smart’s art collection at Parker Ranch until 2000.

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Long will be available to talk story with the public at the VAC gallery from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24.

Mandatory mask wearing and social distancing will be observed. For more information, visit www.volcanoartcenter.org or contact VAC Gallery Manager Emily C. Weiss at 967-8222 or gallery@volcanoartcenter.org.

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