MAHALO: It takes a village (and a lot of food)!

On the day after our mural completion, we are thinking about all those who helped make this project possible.

We painted this mural in the peak of summer heat and humidity that increased each day.  The hot Hawaiian sun is no joke. We had to take breaks in the air-conditioned multipurpose building and we needed to snack too. After all, you can’t work on an empty stomach! Our Art Mother Sato was always two steps ahead and kept us well hydrated and fed, but so did a bunch of other people!

Thank you to Mark and Lois Sato for providing us with a pizza lunch one day, fried chicken and ice cream jello on another, and popsicle snacks in the afternoon; Mrs. Underwood for Komoda pastries and a special delivery fruit platter; Aunty Ann for sushi and Sam Sato manju for Saturday morning; Ms. Grace Taguchi for our lasagna lunch and being our Water Queen; Karla for cookies and sweet treats; Sau Buika for our Sunday Pizza Delivery service with drinks and finally Papa Bowers for a nice refreshing watermelon!

We also can not forget the people who helped us prepare the wall before we started painting. Thank you to head custodian Les Vida for helping us get the wall power washed, cutting the grass, and connecting us to get the primer and paint. We would also like to thank Principal Catherine Kilborn for giving us permission to redo this mural and providing us with the paints we needed to create this.

Thank you to Allison Borell from the East Maui Watershed Partnership for being an excellent resource for our mural. A few of us took a hike with Allison on the Bird Loop Trail in Waikamoi Preserve where she shared her knowledge about native species. She has always been so open and welcoming to the BHS students and we appreciate the work she does with EMWP. Also big thanks to Mike Neal who provided us with great photo references of native birds that we used while painting.

Thank you to Arisumi Brothers for their donation of a scaffold that allowed us to paint safely and securely! Thank you to Edgar Yoshida for letting us borrow two sets of lights to help with night painting. We are very thankful and appreciative for Koa Hewahewa and Kahaku Ritte-Camara for coming by to discuss the message and translating that through the breath of the Hawaiian language. Thank you to Russell Sato for being around as a handy man, umbrella holder, boogie board provider and guest artist. Thank you to Allan “Moj” Murayama for providing us with fish references and checking on us during the process. We were also very lucky to have alum Lanakila Makua part of our team and thank her for sharing her mural expertise. Lana jumped in during the week and really pushed us to the finish! She showed us techniques and shared her personal paints to help us complete the project. A quick shout out to DC based Creative Technologist, Michael Kahane for being available to troubleshoot our web development questions. To Donna Vierra, the BHS Student Activities Coordinator, thank you so much for sharing your space with us in the MPB. Ms. Vierra also did a great job by keeping BHS community up to date through social media posts!

Finally to Mrs. Janet Sato–thank YOU for all that you have given over the years to your art students. We know we are a very unique group of students. We are not always easy to work with and require special attention in our own ways. We have grown from little Art Room babies to bigger Art Room adults. There are so many positive words that could be said because you have truly touched each one of us in special ways throughout our lives. A lot of us found ourselves pursuing art careers when it never crossed our minds before meeting you.

There are not many people who can get alumni to return to high school once it is over, but you did. There are not many people who can get alumni to donate their time and energy to a project, but you did. There are not many people who can get alumni to change their work schedules, wake up at 6AM (or earlier!) for a week straight, and sneak away from their familes–but you did. We all did this mural for BHS to help perpetuate an important message, but we also did this for you.  The work you have done as an educator has clearly impacted all of us and the success of this mural is also a reflection of your strengths as our teacher, leader, and Art Mother. We would not be here without you.

We truly appreciate everyone thinking about us as we painted this mural. It took a village to get this job done and a whole lot of food too! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to check out our progress and those who gave us encouraging words along the way. Every social media “like” or comment did not go unnoticed.  The community support increased the energy and positivity for our group, giving us more power as we created this new piece of BHS history. From the bottom of our hearts, M A H A L O!