January 18th, 2017 / posted by paularath
My own Medium White Tee., #76/out of 1000.

My own Medium White Tee., #76 out of 1000. 76 is a significant number to me because my father worked for Union 76 Oil Company for 35 years.

It’s no secret to those who know me that I have tremendous respect and admiration for President Obama. His intelligence, depth, thoughtfulness, sense of humor, dignity, authenticity and, well, his CHARACTER, are all exemplary. The United States has benefited in so many ways by having him at our helm.

It’s utterly appalling to me that the man who will now move into the White House is petty, shallow, thin-skinned, dishonest, undignified, phony and totally lacking in character. How can this be happening?

Since November 9, I have been a homebody. It’s hard for me to leave the house. Like so many other Americans, I just want this nightmarish reality, played out on Twitter for God’s sake, to disappear.

A place where I could write a message to President Obama, knowing that it will be delivered to him.

A place where I could write a message to President Obama, knowing that it will be delivered to him by his sister this week.

 

Where can I go to be surrounded by the goodness of Barack Obama and all that he stands for? How can I honor him in some small way? I wish I were going to Washington to join the March, but we leave for Europe on Monday, and all our travel plans are pretty much cemented, so the timing simply doesn’t work.

However, thanks to the Honolulu Museum of Art, Ward Centre and the artist Emily Spivack, I know a little place where I can feel surrounded by the love of good people who share my feelings about President Obama. It’s a comfort.

Medium White Tee sand bar

Medium White Tee Shirt is a pop-up off-site art installation in Ward Centre. It will be open Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. in Ward Centre, between Red Pineapple and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Created by Brooklyn-based artist Emily Spivack, it is designed to be a place for contemplation, a place to consider all that President Obama did for us. The artist calls it “A tribute to President Obama’s accomplishments and to the decisions he didn’t run from and ultimately it’s a thank-you.”

It’s also a place where you can buy a Medium White Tee Shirt, made in the USA of course, for $44, in honor of our 44th President.

Spivack came up with the idea while reading a story in the New York Times that had also caught my attention and stayed with me. In the story, it mentioned President Obama and his then Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel were fantasizing about what they might do after their time in the White House. They talked about moving to Hawaii to open a tee shirt shack that sold only one size (medium) and one color (white).  It would mean never having to make another decision.

Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Obama's sister, joined artist Emily Spivack at the podium during the media introduction for Medium White Tee.

Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Obama’s sister, joined artist Emily Spivack at the podium during the media introduction for Medium White Tee.

The first of the limited edition (capped at 1,000) Medium White Tees was given to President Obama by his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, at Christmas. I bought #76 and there are still plenty more at the Ward Centre pop-up.

Please go and buy one. And I would love it if you give it your own treatment – paint it, dye it, cut strategic pukas in it, applique it, write a message on it, embroider it, whatever strikes your fancy – and send me a photo to publish in this blog.

While you’re there, take a few moments to sit in a beach chair and think about all that President Obama and his exemplary family have done for the United States of America. It really may help you get through the god-awful prospect we face on Friday.

– Paula Rath

December 30th, 2016 / posted by paularath
Those diaphanous balls are made from silk cocoons.

Those diaphanous balls are made from silk cocoons.

Earlier this month, our dear friend Akihiko Izukura had a gorgeous show at the Tenri Gallery in New York City. It was called “Impermanence.”

The centerpiece of the show was a silk tea house where people could actually sit inside a cocoon-like dwelling and enjoy Japanese tea and moments of silence in the midst of the nation’s most cacophonous city.

The tea house by Akihiko Izukura

The tea house by Akihiko Izukura

New Yorkers also had a rare opportunity to buy the artist’s one-of-a-kind garments made of hand dyed, hand woven fibers. Toyoko Motojima reports that they were quite popular with the people who visited the gallery.

aki-san-tenri-gallery-clothing-2

Did you know that Izukura-san is such a purist that he will not even use heat during his dyeing process? The fabrics are sun-dyed so no energy is expended.

aki-san-tenri-gallery-clothing

And now some exciting news for you Maui folks: Izukura-san will be presenting a show in the Schaefer International Gallery in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center January 15 – March 19, 2017. Please check my blog for more details.

– Paula Rath

December 23rd, 2016 / posted by paularath
Four exquisite kapa malos

Four exquisite kapa malo

Just in case you are heading to Maui soon, or at least before March 31, 2017,  please try to make an excursion to Upcountry Maui for a visit to Hui No’eau. The Hui always has great shows and of course the campus is absolutely beautiful. While the main gallery is currently chock full of fabulous made in Maui Christmas gifts, the smaller gallery, the History Room, has been dedicated to a wonderful show called:

“Woman Makes the Malo Makes the Man: An Exhibition of Kapa by Dalani Tanahy.”

Detail of one of Dalani's kapa malo.

Detail of one of Dalani’s kapa malo.

Dalani has been a kapa maker for more than 20 years. She is also a grower of her own wauke trees (paper mulberry used to make kapa) and dye plants. The craftswoman, clearly a perfectionist who takes great pride in her work, even makes her own tools for pounding and printing kapa.

Handmade ohe kapala (bamboo carved ) tools for printing kapa.

 Dalani’s handmade ohe kapala (bamboo carved ) tools for printing kapa.

Dalani is a respected kumu  who loves to teach others to make kapa, ensuring the survival of this important art form.

One of the loveliest of the kapa malo belongs to Keali’i Reichel, who generously loaned it for the show. Sigh! Just look at this gorgeous man…

The fabulous Keali'i Reichel

The fabulous Keali’i Reichel

When Upcountry, be sure to stop for lunch or dinner at the fabulous Kula Bistro. My friend Cheryl, who lives in Kula, introduced us to it.  It’s where all the locals go because, honestly, it’s a terrific restaurant. I wanted just about everything on the menu and I’ve been told every item is excellent.  It’s not at all pretentious and the prices are really reasonable. It’s not to be missed!

– Paula Rath

 

December 8th, 2016 / posted by paularath
A fabric Christmas card with vintage rickrack

A fabric Christmas card with vintage rickrack

Have you ever wondered where the hit TV show “Hawaii 5-0” gets all the art you see on the walls of various sets – houses, hotels, offices etc.?

Well, now I know: they rent it! I know this because a woman from 5-0, whose job it is to forage for the show’s art, recently came into the Louis Pohl Gallery on Bethel Street and rented one of my paintings for use on the show. How fun is that? And I will receive half the rent. (The other half goes to the gallery.)

I am embarrassed to say that I do not have a photo of the painting they borrowed, or I would show it to you in this blog. Sorry! I try to remember to keep photos of all of my art, but I don’t always succeed and this one is an unfortunate failure. It was a painting of the Kilauea caldera which I painted a couple of summers ago as the caldera was really sizzling. It’s very earthy and mysterious.

I love “Hawaii 5-0” and always watch it or DVR it if I’m going to be out. Now I will have to look closely at every scene with art in it!

Vntage Marimekko with contrasting stitching

Vintage Marimekko with contrasting stitching

Isn’t it great that the show supports local art in this manner?

As for my most recent art project, the last of my art cards are currently available at the Arts at Marks (through next week) and the Louis Pohl Gallery (through December 31). There are really only a few cards left, so if you’re interested, it’s best to get there soon.

– Paula Rath

 

November 25th, 2016 / posted by paularath
Vintage Marimekko with artful stitching  Photos by Jerry Mayfield

Vintage Marimekko with artful stitching                                     Photos by Jerry Mayfield

Quite a few people have been asking when and where they can buy my new art cards. Well…..the answer is tomorrow (Saturday, November 26) at the Mission Houses Museum Craft Fair. Fair hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

I know it’s very last minute, but hey, weren’t you planning to go to this fabulous craft fair anyway? It’s always been my favorite of all the holiday fairs, and this year my dear sister, Roberta Cullen, invited me to share her booth. Her line of jewelry is called Fashioned by Roberta. 

Original watercolor painting by Paula, created in Stowe, Vermont

Original watercolor painting by Paula, created in Stowe, Vermont

Find my cards along with Roberta’s jewelry at the ‘Ewa side of the fair, near where you cross the street to get to Kawaihao Church.

Vintage Marimekko with artful stitching

Vintage Marimekko with artful stitching

Image of river rocks on Irish linen

Image of river rocks on Irish linen

I’m really having fun with these art cards. My process is totally organic; I sit down with a pile of compatible materials around me and just start stitching. I change the thread and bobbin about every five minutes and I destroy sewing machine needles like you wouldn’t believe.

Vntage Marimekko with contrasting stitching

Vntage Marimekko with contrasting stitching

You will find some more traditional Christmas cards, with “Mele Kalikimaka” on palaka fabric, but there are also some abstract red-and-green fabric cards that whisper “Christmas” without shouting it.

This antique Chinese silk came from the collection of one of my mother's friends who brought it out of China.

This antique Chinese silk came from the collection of one of my mother’s friends who brought it out of China.

Need thank-you cards for all those lovely gifts you will receive and friends’ homes where you will go for egg nog? How about a “Mahalo” card that’s original art? I’ve got ’em, complete with embroidery on palaka.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Christmas tree in there.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Christmas tree in there. Can’t you see it?

A splash of vibrant red for the holidays.

A splash of vibrant red for the holidays.

My cards cost about what you might pay for an ordinary printed card at a stationary store. But each of them is a one-of-a-kind little piece of art – some people are framing them – selling for just $6 or $8. Or a real deal at four for $20 or four for $30 (for the embroidered cards).

Berta and I hope to see you at the Mission Houses Museum Craft Fair!

– Paula Rath