The fifth annual Maui Open Studios Event has been scheduled for four weekends beginning Jan. 31, 2015. The annual event will feature more than 90 artists and artisans who will open up their studios, exhibition spaces and homes to show and sell their work as well as talk story, connect and inspire visitors through one-on-one interactions and in some cases, live demonstrations.
The Annual Maui Open Studios Event is the first of its kind in the state. The event, created by former Maui artist Carolyn Quan (who now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area), follows a model that has been very successful on the Mainland for decades.
“When I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Hawaii and began to do research into art shows and ways of exposing my own artwork to the public, I learned about the myriad of open studio events that take place in California and other art-loving states on the Mainland,” Quan said. “I realized that it was time for Hawaii to have such an event. It is a concept that has been around for almost 40 years on the Mainland and it is a wonderful way for artists and artisans to connect with art buyers, collectors and art and craft enthusiasts. It’s a chance for the art community to come together and show the world what we’ve got here on Maui and what we’re all about!”
Since its inception, Maui Open Studios has connected more than 80 artists every year with thousands of local and visiting art collectors and enthusiasts who experience unique opportunities to connect with Maui’s artistic community. Though the event is free to the public, it has helped stimulate the arts community by generating substantial sales each year since its creation.
“Maui is a major art collectors travel destination. People come from far and wide to purchase art on Maui and add to their collections,” said Quan who will be on island during MOS to oversee the event. “There is so much diverse talent on the island. And since this is an annual event it will attract more art lovers and art collectors to the island year after year, and has even become the focus of visitors’ trips to the island whether inter-island, domestic or international. The Maui Open Studios event is also a way of helping artists gain vital exposure to the public year after year in a fun, exciting and creative way.”
During the MOS event, art-lovers are invited to join many of the artists at the Opening Celebration/Preview Exhibitions Jan. 31, where they can enjoy a cash bar, no-host pupus, listen to live music, preview a few pieces of the artists’ work, connect with the artists and pick up a copy of the MOS Guidebook containing an artist directory and maps directing them to different studios and exhibition spaces around the island.
“The tour plays out like a treasure hunt; using the MOS Guidebook with maps of studio locations, visitors head out on some of Maui’s scenic roads–seldom explored by visitors–to find the artists,” said Cheryl Sterling, Cultural Programs Specialist, Maui County OED. “Flying banners and numbered signs mark the spot where one turns into the workshop, home or even gated estate where the artist awaits. Visitors who enjoy the arts will find MOS a rewarding tour option.”
Guidebooks will be available in January and then throughout the duration of the event at various locations around the island, which will be listed on MauiOpenStudios.com beginning the first of the year. Art-enthusiasts can design their own self-guided tours for each weekend of the month, either by referring to their printed guidebook or MOS’s online artist directories.
“The found treasures are many–besides seeing Maui’s hidden splendor, you meet the artists in their creative spaces and can browse varied styles of work–from paintings to blown glass, ceramics and sculpture; to wood carvings, photographs and unique jewelry–all reflective of the inspired people who call Maui island home,” Sterling said.
The 2015 Maui Open Studios Event will begin with Opening Celebration/Preview Exhibition Saturday, Jan. 31 from 5-8pm at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu. The self-guided tours will begin the following weekend; hours for the weekend shows are 11am–6pm. Weekend one, February 7-8, will feature studios and galleries in West and South Maui. Weekend two, Feb. 14-15, will be held Upcountry Maui; event organizer Carolyn Quan will be showing her work during the second weekend of MOS at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center in Makawao. Weekend three, Feb. 21-21, will feature artists and artisans that work in Central Maui, on the North Shore, along the Road to Hana and in Hana Town.
Photo of Carolyn Quan courtesy of Roger Kea