The new mural on the side of Request Music (10 North Market St., Wailuku) will be officially unveiled this Friday, Nov. 2 during the First Friday town party. Designed by Eric Okdeh, the mural is part of Hui No’eau’s Maui Mural Project in collaboration with Wailuku’s rebranding initiative ReWailuku.
The wall is made of corrugated sheet metal, so workers first installed a false wall to create a more suitable canvas for the artwork. The mural represents conversations with people from the community that touch on problems affecting Hawaii as well as portions of life here that residents want to protect.
“The mural addresses challenges that were identified by the Maui community such as interrupted families as a result of displaced Maui prisoners [being shipped off to the mainland for lack of space here], developing tourism Meccas on burial grounds, the negative health effects of cane burning, as well as opportunities identified by the Maui community such as ho‘oponopono, preserving native Hawaiian plants and resources, building intergenerational relationships,” said Kelly McHugh, Hui No’eau’s Youth Programs and Marketing Manager. “This is a collage of information collected over four months by a very skilled artist collaborating with an inspired educational team at Hui No’eau.”
In addition to expressing the views of the community, the mural is expected to have positive effects on the surrounding area as well.
“It might create a more welcoming environment for visitors, a more pleasant/interesting environment for workers and residents there, create a warmer gathering place to congregate, eat lunch, meet neighbors, engage in conversation,” said McHugh. “Enable new relationships by setting a ‘common-ground’ foundation. Empower other artists to launch their own public art initiatives on Maui. Spark a new form of dialogue where discussing social issues is less taboo. Prompt further community investment in the area. Inspire passers-by to become more engaged in the visual arts, unlocking their creativity and building new bridges to self-empowerment, self-esteem, community building, problem-solving. It could create world peace!”