DAY 10: And we’re PAU!

DSC_32492Today was our last day working on the mural. The past two days were extra challenging with our blessings of rain and sunshine throughout the day, but we did it! Thanks to our art mother, Janet Sato for bringing this group of BHS Art Alumni together for seven weeks of planning and just over one week of painting. The group pictured above (Top L to R: Alexandra, Joey, Jennifer, Amanda; Bottom: Kirk, Sato, Oriana, Noble, and Elmer) was the core concept team for the piece. There were three people who were part of the original team 16 years ago. Noble and Elmer were students at the time and Kirk was a returning alumni. We were together from the start and were here today for the finish.

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There were only a few things that needed touch ups today. Noble came to work on his opihi’s and Kirk made a slight adjustment to this Iiwi’s eye. Oriana worked on the mamane fern and Amanda added final highlights and shadows to the woman’s face and hair.

DSC_3192 We worked from morning to evening but thanks to airbrush expert Elmer, we also had time to fuss around and get custom tattoos! DSC_3206

In the middle of the week, we saw Iwa birds circling in the sky and blessings of rain. Then when it was all said and done as our group finished taking our final photos, we noticed something special in the sky. Above the clouds came rays of light and at this moment we knew we received a gift. There was a lot of thought, energy and emotion poured into this mural and we hope the BHS community enjoys it for years to come.Day10

Our work on the mural might be done but we still have things to update here on the website! Look forward to more details on all the native species we highlighted in this piece and our meaning behind the mural. If you’ve made it this far in our posts, thank you for following our journey!

DAY 09: We are ALMOST done!

DSC_3173Today we battled the sun AND the rain. That was new. After a very humid morning, the drizzles slowly turned into heavier drops of rain. We did take a midday break for a couple hours because it was a little too wet outside, but did get to enjoy lunch and the rain passed. DSC_3158

From a distance, it is hard to capture the detail going into the painting. Each artist has their own style and everything is coming together quite well. we are filling spaces and going back to create detail where it is needed. Alex added another native plant to fill an empty space in the center of the painting and Kirk is filled in the missing aweoweo in the top right panel.DSC_3136

DSC_3155Our earth mother is coming out beautifully, thanks to Amanda working high up on her fern haku. Today was a long day of work but we are outsmARTing the elements and there is nothing that will stop this team!


DAY 08: We are missing some fish!

IMG_9220_2Today might have been one of the hottest days we worked through so far. Now that we stay and work after lunch until the evening, we have to do our best to shade ourselves from the sun. We have beach umbrellas, sombreros, and a tarp tent! Even with all of that, it doesn’t seem to be enough. Either way, we don’t stop working, but just give ourselves AC breaks in the multipurpose building.

Thanks to Kirk we have kumu coming out from the behind the ohia. They look pretty amazing, don’t you think? They are even better than what we imagined, especially since we originally planned to put a few maninis there in our original sketch. We even got our fearless leader’s husband, Mr. Sato, working on a little aweoweo in the corner.


This mural is special for many reasons, but I think one of the most important is the collaboration. We never expected to have this come out in the way it is. We have strayed away from some original plans, but only to make them better. Alumni are popping in and providing their creativity and ideas. In the end the collaborative effort strengthens the overall design. We still have some pockets of missing pieces, but this is all turning out more than well. It’s excellent.



DAY 07: Paying attention to detail.

DSC_2929Now that the majority of our wall is covered in paint and there is very little “Baldwin Beige” peeking through, we are focusing on the details. (And taking breaks for phone entertainment!) There are a lot of large elements in this mural, like the woman and man, but there are also many native plants, birds and fish scattered throughout. We are working on composition to ensure balance throughout the piece. DSC_2900Amanda is adding delicate strokes of green to create a full fern haku. After creating a dark green background as the base, she adds highlights of green to create a layered and textured look.DSC_2936Sabrina is working quietly and quickly in her corner creating and English teacher Grace shows us her painting skills with this rare geranium we saw on our Waikamoi hike. DSC_2921 Then there is Kirk’s flawless bird that looks so soft and kind. As we zero in on very specific aspects of this mural, it is getting closer to being finished. Tomorrow will be another long, hot day! DSC_2919


DAY 06: Everything is falling into place.

DSC_2831Today was a breakthrough day. After working five days with three very separate walls, they finally came together. With the help of alum Lanakila, the team blended colors this morning, covering the background of the entire left to the center. While it is far from perfect, we are now looking at a completely different piece. The team is focusing on details and composition. While the walls are separated, we still want to show continuity through the whole mural.

DSC_2827 (1) We also stamped this mural with a name. Professional airbrush artist, Elmer, did his work on the bottom wall, writing out (freehand) the Hawaiian name. We are going to have to practice saying it, and then practice more.


As we approach our first week of painting, we are hopeful that we will be done soon. There’s final details to iron out but our team gets stronger by the day. The day started at 5AM for some and it ended past 6PM. We are looking forward to the stretch to the finish!

DAY 05: We made the news!


This morning we woke up to a quick shout out in The Maui News. A photo taken by our very own Janet Sato was featured today right after the front page of the paper.  Today the day started at 5AM for Noble, 7AM for Sato, and Alex, Amanda, and Sabrina joined in around 8AM. Once again, we tried our best to work as quickly as possible before the sun came over the MPB. If only we could get demigod Maui to come and slow it down so we would have more hours of morning sun, that would be perfect.


From afar it’s easy to miss the details in this painting. The highlights, the shadows, the little specks of white light that show up in details like this ohia blossom. We are happy with how this is turning out and we are excited the community thinks so too.

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DAY 04: Making a VIDEO.

Creativity is contagious. I am constantly inspired seeing other people work and I know the people working on this mural feel the same way too. When we started this project, we just wanted to make a mural. Somewhere between mural meetings the thought sparked to document the work with photos. Then I thought, why only photos and why not a website? There’s so much thought going into this process that not sharing it would leave a lot missing when people look at this piece.

So photo taking commenced and the documenters that we all are, we gathered A LOT of them! There’s a lot of talent, conversation, and challenges we are working through collaborating on this mural. Then I thought, why not a blog? Why not explain what these photos are and how we are feeling after our painting days. Then yesterday I thought, “what about a video?!” Technology is a lot different from when we were in high school. Our phones make us photographers, videographers and storytellers of our everyday life. So why not tell this story? DOING IT.

This video is just a work in progress of our first four days but I’ll guarantee there is a lot more to come. I only started thinking about video at the end of Day 3 and then forgot my camera for Day 4, so this is what we have for now. Enjoy!

DAY 03: Bringing a sketch to life.


Progress is being made! After only three days of painting, we are moving quickly filling up the “Buttercup Beige” with color and burning our ideas to life.


Our main focal points are starting to show come through the “Buttercup Beige.” They are Earth Mother, a Waterman and our home, the island of Maui. There were five different minds collaborating to finalize the concept. We were able to finalize all our ideas and created one of the first sketches.

IIWI_1Since then other voices were added and we pinpointed plants and animals we would feature in this project. A few weeks ago a few of us had the privilege of attending the Waikamoi Preserve Birdloop guided Bird Loop hike. Thanks to Allison, we had a chance to see native plants and birds first hand, gathering references for this mural.


We also got a visit from Koa Hewahewa and Kahaku this evening. They will be helping us translate the meaning of this mural into the breadth of Hawaiian language. They came to see our work in progress and in a short time, shared their understanding of our message.

I am amazed at what we were able to accomplish over the weekend. The talent that each artist is bringing to the mural is unique.  This mural is bringing us together and the energy we feel is strong. We’ll be working day (and maybe night) to get this done!

DAY 02: Here comes Haleakala.

DSC_2734The day started again for us at 6AM. Well, some of us, and others at 7:30AM. We are really trying hard to get as much done before midday because once the sun comes over the Multipurpose Building the sun is too strong.

Today the middle crew started working on painting the sky and Haleakala. We are still making decisions about the plants surrounding the middle portion “portal” and working out finding images to reference.

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More hands are showing up to paint and it’s wonderful to see the support. We are seeing faces of the Baldwin Art program and working together to get this done. The progress is being made and tomorrow will be another early day!

DAY 01: We’ve only just begun.

Today was the first day of painting. We learned fast that the morning is major key to give us shade. Noble, Sato (Jan), and Sato (Russell)  were here at 6AM setting up our scaffold and cracking open cans of paint.Noble

While Noble and Kirk worked on water and waves, Alex and Jalyza went green with the mountain scene. Amanda Joy was doing her thing giving life to the woman’s face. By 11AM the sun comes over the MPB and it gets hot, real fast.

In between documenting and being talkative distraction, I found myself sitting under the shade of the scaffolds. The mural, although at the very early stages, is already being well received by the BHS community. Principal Kilborn came to check us out, as well as custodians and teachers. We are proud to be back at our Alma Mater and honored to do this piece which is the center of our school.


To close the day we had another late night sketch sesh between some rain and clouds but we did it! More to come tomorrow, and the next day and the next day.