Update, March 18: The “Imagined Futures” exhibit has been extended; hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily until Saturday, March 26.
The Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu is among the collaborative partners behind “Imagined Futures,” an exhibition that invited students from throughout West Oʻahu to present artwork around the idea of looking at history to heal the past and envision pathways forward. The exhibit is on display through March 26 at Kapolei Hale.
“Imagined Futures” is organized by non-profit arts organization Hawaiʻi Contemporary as part of its signature event, Hawai‘i Triennial 2022 (HT22), and in collaborative partnership with Ulu Aʻe Learning Center, DreamHouse ʻEwa Beach, Kapolei High School, and the Academy for Creative Media at UH West Oʻahu.
“We are so pleased that the Hawaiʻi Contemporary brought HT 2022 to West Oʻahu to engage the community because there are so many artisans and creators on this side,” said Sharla Hanaoka, director of the Academy for Creative Media at UH West Oʻahu.
At the opening reception of “Imagined Futures” on March 12 at Kapolei Hale, Hawaiʻi Contemporary executive director Katherine Don said, “Our mission is to connect Hawaiʻi, Asia Pacific, and beyond through contemporary art and working with curators and artists whose works are locally resonant and globally relevant.”
She continued, “We really try to celebrate this idea of making art accessible to all and this (Imagined Futures exhibit) is one of the ways, in addition to the art exhibitions, we really want to encourage education and access and using art as a start of a conversation.”
Emma Lake, who graduated last semester from UH West Oʻahu and received a degree in Creative Media, played an integral role in bringing the Hawaiʻi Triennial and “Imagined Futures” to Kapolei as an exhibition fellow at Hawaiʻi Contemporary.
“Imagined Futures” also features an interactive exhibit created by Lake called “Help Wanted,” where participants were invited to contribute their ideas and wishes for what they want the future to look like.
In addition, Honouliuli ʻĀina Hoʻohuli, the online exhibit created by UH West Oʻahu’s Dr. Christy Mello, associate professor of Applied Cultural Anthropology, and students enrolled in her ANTH/CM 404 Museum Exhibits and Visual Methods course last year, is part of the “Imagined Futures” exhibition.
Honouliuli ʻĀina Hoʻohuli allows visitors the opportunity to interact and dive deeper into the history of Honouliuli as an ahupua’a, one of many of Hawaiʻi’s land and water divisions.
“I’m proud of the students’ commitment to this project, willingness to be challenged, and creativity,” Mello said in an article published last year about the online exhibit.
While “Imagined Futures” invites students to explore the idea of looking at history to heal the past and envision pathways forward, the project specifically encourages students to imagine how the decommissioned military bunkers at Puʻuokapolei — a culturally significant place in the ahupuaʻa of Honouliuli — could be fully realized as a place for community and contemporary art.
“Imagined Futures” is made possible, in part, by the Mayor’s Office of Culture & the Arts, Hawai‘i Arts Alliance, MakeVisible, and WLS Spencer Foundation.
Imagined Futures is a free exhibit, open to the public from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily through March 26 at Kapolei Hale, 1000 Uluʻōhiʻa St.