Last Friday marked possibly the first time old Paia Train Station
had seen so much aesthetically pleasing action since 1948. The cause
for such a grandiose celebration was the surprise opening of “Masters
of Art”—an art gallery and complex featuring the hugely popular sports
artist Ray Masters in the largest building. Masters did all the
building’s reconstructive work himself, painting the walls and
displaying his magnificently lit, vibrant and lively acrylic art
alongside Tom Faught’s funky metal sculptures and Piero Resta’s sensual
wood carvings. In separate but adjacent cottages, Rik Fitch showcased
his oil paintings, colorful hand-woven cloths and stone jewelry at Chai
Yo! and the Von Heldenberg gallery displayed a horseshoe-shaped glass
case of fine jewelry.
About 100 young, posh and impossibly beautiful people mingled—the
trust fund elite and international surf crowd of Maui’s North Shore.
Handsome, tan, athletic men in snug T-shirts and baggy jeans chatted
with gorgeous girls in glamorous regalia: cocktail dresses, full-length
sparkling or silky gowns, skin exposed in glorious display of golden
perfection. The most appropriate hair—for both male and female
alike—was sun-streaked, layered and perfectly mussed.
In a smaller cluster of friends, a well-known Italian artist spoke
of his recent six-week trip to Europe. A world music deejay concurred
with his tales of endless meals cooked with fresh herbs from the garden
of the villa where he was staying. An attractive blonde laughingly told
of leaking olive oil bottles stashed in her airplane’s overhead
compartment. Promises were made amongst the group to share recently
acquired Grappa at night’s end. The artist continued talk of an
intimate party he’s planning at his estate, replete with pasta dinner,
dancing and 150 of his closest friends.
A stunning photographer with an unrecognizable accent and short,
spiky hair talked of the merits of having a hangover as opposed to not
and wondered aloud what sort of concoction she was drinking; brushing
off any potential responses, she cheered her table of acquaintances.
Someone quoted W.C. Fields: “Say anything that you like about me except
that I drink water.” Meanwhile, inside the Masters gallery, excitement
erupted as—supposedly—a gaggle of gowned girls took to giddily exposing
their glamorously covered tatas. Almost immediately, camera flashes
exploded like the reflected lights off a disco ball.
A local entrepreneur floated easily from group to group, talking of
island-wide redevelopment and Burning Man philosophies. Masters began
ushering folks to the front of the newly painted old Paia Train Depot
for a Hawaiian blessing. Videographers and photographers crowded the
priestess in chant and Masters looked on with teary-eyed glee. At the
end of the ceremony, a young girl shouted appreciation and thanks to
Masters, to which the crowd reacted with deafening applause. Masters
waved them down to near silence and gave a small speech.
“This is not my house,” he said. “It’s our house.”
Outside the gallery in the back area, word soon spread of carrying
the party on to Jacques, where Masters would also be deejaying. People
scurried, rides were confirmed and the last of the crowd made scattered
conversation with lingerers. A trio of young, pretty blondes—English
schoolteachers and a counselor—made light conversation with a local
A smallish black dog—bedecked in red nylon collar and silver
tag—made its way through the crowd, wagging its tail excitedly and
possibly searching for its owner. Or perhaps the last bit of brie on
Samantha Campos hopes to finish
her latest artwork, a charcoal and 10W40 oil on brushed copper painting
entitled, “Lightness as an Inexplicit Encroachment upon My Behavior” by
next May, in time for her mother’s 20th wedding anniversary. MTW