Friday | September 30, 2016
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Woodwork, ukuleles, to go on display

<p>Complementing the array of wood objects on display is artist Robert Weiss, who has over 35 years experience as a professional artist in the commercial and fine art fields. Here is his elepaio.</p>

Wailoa Art and Cultural Center will host its eighth annual Big Island Woodworkers and Artist Invitational in conjunction with the Big Island Ukulele Guild’s annual exhibit on Friday, Oct. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The formal opening will feature live music and pupus and will close at 7 p.m. There will be a free drawing for ukulele to be given away, but you must be present to win. This eclectic exhibit will showcase fine art furniture, sculpture and 48 uniquely handmade ukuleles and guitars by fine craftsmen throughout the state. Also on display will be the inspiring artwork by plein aire painter Robert Weiss and hand blown glass by Misato and Michael Mortara. This reception is free and open to the public and a great way to connect with the artists, ask questions and learn more about what they do and what inspires them to create their art.

The Big Island Ukulele Guild is inviting the public to vote throughout the month for their favorite ukulele resulting with the People’s Choice Award. The public is also invited to join in ukulele kanikapila (jam sessions) on Saturdays, Oct. 5 and 18, from noon until 3 p.m. Ukuleles will be supplied for those that don’t have one. On Saturday, Oct. 11, members of the Ukulele Guild will lead “building an ukulele” demonstrations for the public. At each Saturday event there will be free drawings for ukulele to be given away, but you must be present to win.

The Big Island Ukulele Guild was started in 2001, and is comprised of about 50 members. The primary focus of the Guild is to promote ukulele making by sharing information between builders. Many of the members build as a hobby, while about 10 percent build professionally. Any interested person can become a guild member. Members meet four times a year at varying locations across the island to share food, kanikapila, and most importantly, a central presentation on some aspect of ukulele building. For more information about the Ukulele Guild or upcoming exhibit, contact Coordinator Bob Gleason at 966-6323, or

The exhibit will also feature woodworkers from across the Big Island with their fine art furniture, sculpture and bowls set up as it could be arranged in your home. As in the past, local woods native to the islands and exotic woods are used in their unique, functional designs.

Complementing the array of wood objects on display is invited artist, Robert Weiss, who has more than 35 years experience as a professional artist in the commercial and fine art fields.

“As early as I can remember, I wanted to be an artist. To amuse myself and the other kids in school I was always drawing pictures (some not very much to the liking of the teachers). My grandmother and grandfather were painters and ceramic artists; my Dad was a writer and journalist, so the desire to become an artist was encouraged and supported,” Weiss says.

Inspired by the beauty of Hawaii, he began to paint en plein air, a French expression which means “in the open air,” and is used to describe the art of painting outdoors. In the exhibition are also a number of studio paintings he has created using his small plein air studies as models.

Much of his work is devoted to landscape painting, and lately he has been drawn to paint the old houses and industrial infrastructure from the bygone plantation era on the Hamakua Coast.

Volcano artists Michael and Misato Mortara will round out the Main Gallery’s exhibit with colorful splashes of hand blown, exquisite glass accenting the rich wood tones of the furniture.

In Mortara’s artist statement, he says “There is something both dramatic and dynamic about the manipulation of a molten mass of glass, such that the process has almost as much appeal for me as does the product. Hot glass is a medium in constant motion, where balance, timing and rhythm are the essential tools in the process.”


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