The West Maui Cultural Council is trading in its name for an ambitious vision that could (would?) rival the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The new Maui ARTS League aims to open a visual fine arts museum in Lahaina that would showcase wonderful pieces on its walls that you won’t even need to feel bad about for not buying.
“Lahaina has several art galleries and has become an art mecca for visitors and residents,” said Maui ARTS League President Lois Reiswig in an Aug. 19 press release. “We have historical museums, but we believe a permanent arts museum, open to the public, will be a very positive addition to our community.”
Museum visitors can be the connoisseurs they know they truly are and take chic pictures in front of the permanent collections and special exhibits. Don’t go looking yet for a reflective quote to pair with the selfie you plan to take by the pastel oil painting of the ocean. The Maui ARTS League will first assemble focus groups to gather community feedback, ideas and support in the fall. If you want to be a part of the leader board, the Maui ARTS League wants people to join its ranks.
“Our vision is to gather a vibrant and enthusiastic organization of art lovers and to create a place where our community and visitors experience world-class paintings, sculpture and photography,” Reiswig said.
That isn’t the statement of an idealistic dream from a start-up. The Maui ARTS League is experienced in rounding up nationally-renown talent and making a name for its previous alias, The West Maui Cultural Council. The Council collaborated with Village Galleries and Maui “Islanders–Hawaii Plein Air Painters” for its yearly event spanning a week of art that’s known as the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational.
This isn’t just a humble gathering of artists who share brush stroke and clay kneading techniques in a circle. The event sells around “$100k worth of freshly painted original artworks” to the large crowds who come to witness artists painting on site. Twenty-six individuals will manifest their imaginations onto the canvas for spectators in next year’s event from Feb. 13-21, 2016. The critically appraised artists do more than flaunt their creativity for the crowd; they also relay their expertise to local artists in workshops, a rare learning experience for those with financial constraints that hinder them from buying plain tickets for mainland workshops.
The success of the last 10 events serves as evidence for the promise of the upcoming visual fine arts museum. Presidents Janet Allan, Theo Morrison and Lois Reiswig are intent on their new mission, which is “to showcase, cultivate and build appreciation for visual fine arts.”
Photo L to R: Theo Morrison, Lois Reiswig and Janet Allan
Photo courtesy Maui ARTS League