Lehuauakea and Kanani Miyamoto bring Hawaiian Voices to Five Oaks Museum
Set to open online and with limited safe access at the museum on November 12th, 2020
This Guest Curator duo is creating an exhibition that shines light on the widely unknown connection between Hawai‘i, the Pacific Northwest, and the communities that continue to flow between these two regions.
Beginning as far back as 1787, a steady stream of workers, families, and entrepreneurs came from the Hawaiian Islands to new settlements along the west coast of Turtle Island. Contributing to the development of the early fur trade and logging industries, agriculture, the building of port towns and trading posts, and even mining during the Gold Rush, the influence of these diasporic groups is evident in the towns and communities that remain in the Pacific Northwest to this day. The exhibition will include contemporary artworks and community stories in addition to historic objects and information.
“Much of Hawaiian history in the Pacific Northwest and the stories of these families have been glossed over or omitted altogether in the past. DISplace hopes to address these gaps in our collective history and share these ongoing stories, telling them with our own voices.”
-Lehuauakea and Miyamoto
Kanani Miyamoto holds an MFA in Print Media from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and a bachelor’s degree in Art Practices from Portland State University. Her work has shown in Hawai‘i, Oregon and Washington. She is originally from Honolulu, Hawai‘i and is currently living in Portland, Oregon.
Miyamoto is a passionate printmaker and educator. Her art practice includes non-traditional printmaking, in the form of large scale mixed media original prints, sculpture, installation, and animation. Her work is inspired by her personal experiences as an individual of mixed heritage as well as life in Honolulu. Issues of cultural and personal identity have been a major theme in her work.
Additionally, Miyamoto loves collaborations of all kinds and is supportive of community based art. She is an advocate for art education, the integration of art in public schools and across academic disciplines. She teaches with Pacific University, Portland Community College, Young Audiences, The Right Brain Initiative and NW Noggin’s STEAM program. Miyamoto believes arts based learning fosters productive, divergent thinkers and that our society could always use more imagination and creativity.
Lehuauakea is a mixed-Native Hawaiian interdisciplinary artist from Pāpaʻikou on Moku O Keawe, the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. Lehua’s Kānaka Maoli family descends from several lineages connected to Maui, Kauaʻi, Kohala, and Hāmākua where their family resides to this day.
They have participated in several solo and group shows around the Pacific Ocean. Most recently these include ‘A Gift, A Breath’ at Alice Gallery in Seattle, ‘Until We Meet Again’ at Blackfish Gallery in Portland, and ‘He Hae Hōʻailona Ia’ at Aupuni Space in Honolulu. Through a range of craft-based media, their art serves as a means of exploring cultural and biological ecologies, spectrums of Indigeneity, and what it means to live within the context of contemporary environmental degradation. With a particular focus on the labor-intensive making of ʻohe kāpala, kapa cloth, and natural pigments, Lehua is able to breathe new life into patterns and traditions practiced for generations. Through these acts of resilience that help forge deeper relationships with ʻāina, this mode of Indigenous storytelling is carried well into the future.
The artist is currently based between Portland and Pāpaʻikou after earning their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting with a minor in Art + Ecology at Pacific Northwest College of Art.