Judges of the Hawaiian Word for the Day contest. L-R: Chris Faye, curator, Kaua`i Museum; Isaiah Ka`auwai, counselor, KCC; Robert Lober, artist and architect. Photo by Anne E. O’Malley

Student Art Exhibit Promotes Hawaiian Language

The Hawaiian Word for the Day exhibit of student-rendered art illustrations will be on view for the public in the main gallery of Kaua`i Museum starting Saturday, September 15, with a reception starting at 3 p.m. for the students and their families, that is free and open to the public.

In addition, during opening day only, a video of the students individually pronouncing and explaining their words for the day and showing their illustrations will run in the Senda Photo Gallery. Thereafter, it will become part of a collection of instructional materials for teaching the Hawaiian language.

This is a project of the Garden Island Arts Council that kicked off on August 1 and was open for participation to schools that teach the Hawaiian language as a basic means of communication. Two schools chose to participate — Ke Kula Niihau o Kekaha and Kawaikini Public Charter School.

Students had fun and the community is a winner, also, with fresh, juried artwork by students translated to posters and post-card style note cards with envelopes that will be available for sale at the exhibition. The two schools each received images in card sets with envelopes to sell as fundraisers for their own programs.

The upcoming Kaua`i Mokihana Festival, in addition to receiving posters, also received selected images comprising sets of nine cards and envelopes. They’ll sell these notecard packets to raise money for their Malie Foundation, providing scholarships to students desiring to attend Punana Leo Hawaiian Language School. The festival’s theme this year is “Year of the Keiki.”

Grants from private donors including The Iwamoto Family Kaua`i Fund, Callaghan Stanny, Jhamandas Watumull Family Fund and Paul Weissman funded the program.  Including the potential income from sales of posters and note cards, the project could reach the $30,000 level in funding. Fiscally, this promises to be a bonanza of a project.