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Hawi artist featured at Harbor Gallery

May 9, 2014 - 6:21am

Harbor Gallery in Kawaihae will host a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. May 16 for Hawi artist Kristi Kranz.

Kranzi is a longtime Big Island resident whose passion for painting is inspired by the natural beauty around her. Her silk wall hangings, framed paintings and shoji screens depict luminous visions of lush hideaways, waterfalls, lily ponds, native flowers, hula dancers and playful honu as well as powerful images of Pele and the spiritual side of Hawaiian culture.

“I have this space where I’m not looking for anything, just painting, where stuff slips down from the universe, through me and onto my silk, and it brings me the most joy I’ve ever felt. My sweet spot,” she says about her creations.

Almost all of Kranz’s pieces are one-of-a-kind, but she has produced a limited number of prints. She said that prints do not do the medium justice, since light plays such an important part in the translucent images, brightening the colors in a way that prints on a flat surface cannot attain.

There is texture to each piece and vibrancy that cannot be compared to a print on a flat surface. Each fiber adds brilliance to the work, which is also permanently fixed into the silk material in a process the makes it colorfast, bonding the dyes into the silk fibers by steaming for hours at high temperatures. Even then, she washes every piece to check for runs and colorfastness. The attrition rate is significant, and a few otherwise beautiful pieces end up in the rag pile at the end of the day. Kranz welcomes special orders and commissions through Harbor Gallery.

Kranz has displayed her silk paintings at Harbor Gallery for more than 16 years, and has expanded her display to include new and sometimes whimsical porcelain ceramic pieces such as her “Facepots,” sake sets, cups and vases. She also decoupages her silk pieces onto bamboo vessels, ukulele and other items.

Harbor Gallery is open daily from 11:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Call 882-1510 or visit