Hawaii State Art Museum (HiSAM)
This week’s post was written by mvnp account supervisor/watercolor artist June Kaneshiro. When June’s not enveloped in the joyful chaos of advertising, she’s sharing the joy of paint on paper. See her watercolors.
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” - Pablo Picasso
There’s a perfect little hideaway in downtown Honolulu to escape daily grind and wash the dust and cobwebs from your mind. Take a break and walk over towards the corner of South Hotel and Richards Streets, and you’ll see a Spanish mission-style stucco building with the inscription, “No. 1 Capitol District Building.” This building, which opened in 1928, harkens back to a different era in Honolulu, when trolley cars and model T’s could be seen jockeying for space on a two-way King Street. Reminders of that time are seen through elements preserved from the original 1928 building, including the floor tiles, wainscoting tiles, iron grillwork and light fixtures on the interior floors and courtyard.
Inside, on the second floor, is the Hawai‘i State Art Museum (HiSAM) which features a wide-ranging collection of 3D and 2D art in various mediums. Produced by local artists, the art at HiSAM offers a sense of where we live, representing our history, culture and what we see around us. The collection is part of the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (HSFCA) and their Art in Public Places program.
In the ‘Ewa Gallery of HiSAM, you’ll see the permanent art collection, with the Diamond Head Gallery displaying more recently acquired pieces and shows. The I Love Art Gallery for hands-on experiential activities (looks great for kids!) is on the Diamond Head side.
On the first floor, enjoy Ed Kenney’s Downtown @ the HiSAM restaurant and the Showcase Hawai‘i gift shop. Still, if this visit with local art doesn’t work to wash off “the dust of daily life,” there’s always a short walk to Bethel or Merchant Street to wash down a glass or two of wine or beer at one of our downtown pubs. But that’s another story. For more, visit the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.