By Jean Souza

The new ocean-themed outdoor display at Kukui Grove Center. Contributed photo

There are some pretty cool and large sea animals at the island’s main shopping mall. A new, eye-catching, ocean-themed outdoor display panel has been installed at Kukui Grove Center in Līhu‘e. The panel, more than 15 feet long and 5 feet tall, features sea creatures of Hawai‘i, including a humpback whale, whale shark, hammerhead shark and other sharks, dolphin, monk seal, green sea turtle and reef animals.

The panel’s title, ’Oe E Kanaloa, Ola! (These Are You, Kanaloa, Live!) is based on a Hawaiian chant and named by Malia Nobrega-Olivera of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. Kanaloa is the Hawaiian deity of the ocean realm and sea creatures are believed to be some of the manifestations of Kanaloa.

The Kanaloa panel was created by wildlife and scientific illustrator Roger Hall of California. Hall, who has created posters that benefit the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, is a scuba diver and frequent visitor to Hawai‘i.

“The panel was created in large part out of my love for the marine animals and coral reefs of Hawai‘i,” Hall said. “Each animal exists as its own single piece of artwork which are then blending together. Using a graphics tablet, the elements are arranged so that the overall look of the layout is harmonious and pleasing to the eye, without either looking too organized or too chaotic.”

He said a lot of thought goes into the placement of the animals in relationship to the background.

“The elements need to look natural together, but also have a semblance of unity and harmony. I hope when the panel is viewed, there is an understanding that — while the setting itself is somewhat abstract and fantastic — it tells a story of these animals sharing a common environment that is complex, fragile and is important to preserve,” Hall said.

Wildlife and scientific illustrator Roger Hall, of Calif., who designed the ’Oe E Kanaloa, Ola! (These Are You, Kanaloa, Live!) display in exhibit at Kukui Grove Center. Contributed photo

He has been working in the field of scientific illustration for more than 20 years. Most of Hall’s skills were self-taught, although he studied art in Paris as a youth, and received a degree in graphic art from the Minneapolis Academy of Art, where he originally hails from. Hall has worked with several noted conservation groups, such as World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club as well as National Geographic, Scholastic Books and several zoos and aquariums around the world.

“My love and passion for Hawai‘i started many years ago, as on my very first visit I had only been in the water for perhaps two minutes when I saw a green sea turtle, thus fulfilling a wish I had had for many years. Since that first visit, I’ve returned several times and have visited most of the islands. My wife and I were certified in SCUBA in Hawai‘i in 2007. There are few things I take more pleasure in than grabbing my gear and heading into the beautiful waters of Hawai‘i,” Hall said.

The new panel is the result of a strong partnership between the illustrator who worked pro-bono, Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery and Kukui Grove Center that sponsored the panel. In addition, experts on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu provided fact checks and reviews. The outdoor panel, at Kukui Grove Center across from Déjà Vu Surf Hawai‘i, will be up for a few months.

Art for Marine Conservation

Art is a powerful medium for promoting awareness and education, especially for marine critters or habitats that are not readily viewable by the general public. Hall’s contributions of the undersea panel is the latest in a series of public art.

Matt McIntosh of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries was featured in the November issue of For Kaua‘i for his contribution to the displays at Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery at Kukui Grove Center.

Photographer Jason Moore of Maui has contributed some of the most iconic contemporary photos of humpback whales in Hawai‘i.

Illustrator Jessica Soriano has used the exterior of a building at the Maui headquarters of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary as her canvas.

Recently, beloved Hawai‘i artist Patrick Ching has been designated 2021 Sanctuary Artist in Residence. Discussions are underway on future projects on Kaua‘i and elsewhere in Hawai‘i.


Marine-Focused Programs on Ho‘ike TV Channel 54

Marine-focused programs are broadcast daily on Ho‘ike TV Channel 54. These webinars, workshops, demonstrations, and videos are provided by Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery. The weekly schedule is Sunday 3 p.m.; Tuesday 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 pm; Wednesday 3 p.m.; Thursday 10:30 a.m.; Friday 10:30 a.m.; and Saturday 3:30 p.m.

Free Public Online Workshops and Webinars

  • 2021 Virtual Ocean Classroom Teacher Workshop. March 16, 17 at 9-11 a.m. Hosted by Allen Tom, Superintendent, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. While geared towards school teachers in Hawaiʻi and American Samoa, the webinar is open to all interested members of the public.

The presenters are:Dr. Andrew Rossiter, Mary Roney, and Dean Spencer of Waikiki Aquarium; Patty Miller of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary; Andy Collins of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument; and Isabel Gaoteote of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

Join educators from the Waikiki Aquarium and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to learn about new lesson plans for teachers that students can complete either virtually or in a classroom. The workshop is geared towards teachers (grades 3-8), but open to any interested member of the public. Over two days, teachers will learn about the three national marine sanctuaries in the Pacific Islands region, as well as programs from the oldest public aquarium west of the Mississippi River — the Waikiki Aquarium. Lessons will include topics such as humpback whale biology and coral reef ecosystems.

  • “Cephalopods of Hawaii” free webinar. Live on Wednesday, March 24 at 9 a.m.  The presenter is Heather Ylitalo-Ward, PhD, Aquatic Biologist, DLNR, Division of Aquatic Resources on Kaua‘i.

Cephalopods are mollusks such as squid, octopus and cuttlefish. Ylitalo-Ward will be talking about why they are important in Hawai‘i and beyond. Having studied octopus sexual selection in graduate school, Ylitalo-Ward now works for DLNR, DAR monitoring coral reef ecosystem health and populations. For this talk, she will discuss her experience working with these fascinating creatures and why she continues to be enamored with them to this day.

Pre-registration is required for both events. Visit for registration links and for information on all upcoming webinars and archived webinars.

  • Jean Souza serves as the on-site manager of Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery at Kukui Grove Center and is a Program Specialist with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Jean can be contacted at



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