Renowned native Hawaiian artist Kai‘ili Kaulukukui is painting a mural for Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa that portrays the beauty of the underwater world at Pu‘u Keka‘a, or Black Rock, the iconic historical landmark that fronts the resort.
The mural project was coordinated by Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) member organization, Ho‘omaika‘i LLC. Word began on April 29 and continued over the course of six days, with the mural covering approximately 310 square feet at Sheraton’s Aloha Landing. The composition will be one of the first things that guests see as they arrive at the resort’s group entrance, whether by bus or shuttle.
We are honored to have the opportunity to display Kaulukukui’s impressive work at our resort,” said Tetsuji Yamazaki, general manager of Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa. “The mural is a beautiful depiction of this wahi pana, or special story place, Pu‘u Keka‘a.”
The mural, named Ke Ola o Pu‘u Keka‘a, has been produced in Kaulukukui’s signature style, with strong contrasts and vibrant colors that blend to create an illustration of unity between man and the underwater world, a theme that can be found throughout his work.
Kaulukukui took inspiration from childhood for the mural’s preliminary sketch; the artist has a personal connection to Pu‘u Keka‘a, where he spent time as a young boy snorkeling, playing and observing tropical fish, honu, plants, corals and sea creatures in their natural habitat.
A classically trained oil painter, Kaulukukui studied fine art at the University of Hawai‘i and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He began drawing and creating at an early age, inspired by Hawaii’s natural beauty, abundant ocean life, and rich native culture. He currently works as a painter and muralist in Honolulu, and serves as ground operations manager of international marine conservation organization, PangeaSeed Foundation.
Photo courtesy Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa