Drew's Guide to Hawaii's Art Scene

Before moving to Hawaii I was frankly aghast by what I saw of Hawaii artwork -- neon paintings of dolphins. I am afraid to admit that this actually dominates the galleries in tourist areas (in my opinion), but Honolulu is home to some very good art.

Art Museums

In terms of art, a few museums should be part of a cool tourist's itinerary. For more on other museums in Hawaii, see the homepage of the Hawaii Museums Association.

Historic Museums

Even if you are just visiting Hawaii, I encourage you to check out some of our fine history museums.

Art Events

Art Galleries

My favorite galleries are The Gallery at Ward Centre, [1200 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, 96814; TEL: (808) 597-8034], which is a cooperative, and the Cedar Street Gallery [817 Cedar St., Honolulu, 96814; TEL: (808) 589-1580]. One can also find some nice Asian art at the Robyn Buntin Gallery [848 S. Beretania St., Honolulu 96813; TEL: (808) 536-6305].

Sadly, two of my favorite art galleries closed. Bibelot (affordable and funky art paintings and ceramics) closed down in July 2006. The more interesting galleries left in town seem to be around Chinatown, like Art @ Mark's Garage (see First Friday above). I never would have imagined Kailua as an art haven, but Honolulu ceramic artist Daven Hee got together with some other artists to create a cooperative gallery called Lodestar Collective, but I'm afraid that also died. The best art scene in my mind remains the little galleries in Chinatown, around Mark's Garage.

You can check out upcoming art "happenings," gallery openings, films, etc. in The Honolulu Weekly (our weekly alternative paper).

Last updated Feb. 2009.