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Nicole Naone at Waikiki Parc

Honolulu's hip hotel enters the gallery world with a sculptural debut

by David Graver in Culture on 09 August 2013

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An island of sun and sand, known for surfing and sea-scraping cliff vistas, Oahu now offers a platform to embrace the more recent flourish in its arts community. The University of Hawaii Arts Foundation is hosting a four-part art series to showcase the work of rising local artists. Located along the shores of Honolulu's famed Waikiki Beach, the luxury resort hotel Waikiki Parc (which also happens to be the official hospitality sponsor of the University of Hawaii College of Arts and Humanities) is playing host to this rotating art exhibition. Their Parc Promenade now serves as a gallery for the quarterly show, planting culturally rich seeds in an area where luxury tends to usurp nature and history.

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Nicole Naone, a recent graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is the first featured artist. Naone was raised on Oahu, but has traveled the world extensively. According to Naone, her series of variously sized sculptures aims to "recall the eccentricity of childhood" while incorporating "expressions of adulthood’s ample mishaps." On the composition of each piece, Naone explains that "the materials I utilize are selected depending on what it is I'm trying to say. Sometimes watercolor or spray paint or melted crayons or whatever articulates my thoughts. For this particular showing it just so happened that fiberglass, bronze and repurposed wood articulated my thoughts the best."

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The figurative pieces—both human and animal—accentuate the hotel space and the influx of ideas and cultures therein. Simultaneously, they bear import and reverence regarding the values of the local arts and surrounding environs from which this artist's inspiration sprung. The greatest value, however, might just be what this partnership imparts upon the Hawaiian art scene. As Naone puts it, "If everyone does their part, the long term benefits could truly be immeasurable."

This free public exhibition runs through 31 October 2013 in the Waikiki Parc Hotel, 2233 Helumoa Road in Waikiki.

Lead image courtesy of Mark Kushini, other images courtesy of Floyd Honda

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