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Bringing it home: Local artist infuses art with love of Kona

December 7, 2017 - 7:15am

Hometown artist Kira Kamamalu showcases her latest works of art 5-9 Monday at Gertrude’s Jazz Bar in Kailua-Kona.

This new curation focuses on Kamamalu’s “wet on wet,” single palette knife paintings and incorporates her ancestral roots with her love of Kona.

“The show is titled ‘From Kona With Love, and XOXOKK,’ and my entire inspiration is our town,” said Kamamalu. “I am painting a lot of nostalgic views of Kona, both the pros and cons.”

Devoted to the finer arts, not traditionally reflected in traditional Polynesian works, Kamamalu redefines Polynesian art, as seen in her newly designed, modern clothing line. In contrast to her previous works where the backgrounds took on an ethereal view, her current pieces depict a more realistic narrative.

“I’m moving more into greater narrative, meaning all the background is important,” said Kamamalu. “The time of day, the setting, what is behind the person — these things are really important for the narrative, so I painted them into the backgrounds because they were really there. I didn’t get rid of things as a lot of painters do to make things more beautiful. Things like trash and objects painters would typically take out, I left in. Just to paint the reality is what I’ve been really enjoying.”

Kamamalu hopes her new work moves the viewer to experience the overall feelings of why they love Kona.

“What I hope people get out of my art it when they attend the show and see my work is an overall feeling of the same reasons they love Kona but can’t really describe in a visual way,” she said. “I’m trying to capture that visual love and throw it back at us. When I’m able to accurately throw back an emotion or a feeling at somebody, there is a recognition in my viewer. They’re recognizing we share the same experience and we share the same love for our town.”

Kamamalu hopes her new curation makes the stewardship of original art possible for everyone. Cocktails and pupu will be served.

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