The postcard invitation to the exhibit, Voyaging: The Art of Wayfinding at Gallery `Iolani, Windward Community College. The top 2/3s of the card is a mottled blue/grey and green/gray mosaic-like and the bottom 1/3 is a mottled marine blue.

Voyaging: The Art of Wayfinding at Gallery ‘Iolani, Windward Community College Previously exhibited at the Hawai‘i State Art Museum (HiSAM), Voyaging: The Art of Wayfinding will be at Windward Community College’s Gallery ‘Iolani in Kāne‘ohe January 29 – March 5, 2017. Admission is free!

This exhibition displays artworks from the Art in Public Places Collection of the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. The exhibition uses paintings, sculptures, prints, photos and textiles to tell a story about how Polynesians came to these islands and the contemporary voyages of today, navigating with natural signs including birds, wind patterns, ocean currents, and the stars and planets of the night sky.


[slideshow of selected artworks


Several oil paintings by Herb Kawainui Kane are included in the exhibition. Kane’s detailed, vivid paintings depict the journeys of the explorers from different island groups as they travel on the open ocean. According to an interview published in Honolulu Magazine after his death in 2011 (Herb Kane: The Last Interview), Kane lived both on the continental United States and in Hawai‘i, but could only afford to permanently move back to the islands after selling some of his artwork. “In 1969, Alfred Preis, the architect of the Arizona Memorial and the first executive director of the Hawaii State Foundation (on) Culture and the Arts, saw them and bought them all,” according to the magazine. In 1973, Kane, along with Ben Finney, and waterman Tommy Holmes formed the Polynesian Voyaging Society. Brought together by their mutual enthusiasm for canoes, they sought to prove that ancient Polynesians traveled to the Hawaiian archipelago purposefully. The Society built and launched the Hōkūle‘a and in 1976 retraced the traditional migratory route from Hawai‘i to Tahiti, covering some 2,400 miles. Also included in the exhibit is Wright Bowman Sr.’s scale model of the Hōkūle‘a. The Hōkūle‘a and its companion canoe Hikianalia are currently on the Malama Honua Worldwide journey around the globe. Their mission is to participate in the worldwide movement of creating a more sustainable future for all. Other artists in the exhibition: Jody Arthur, Kathleen Carr, Joseph Feher, Mary Ann Leigh, Wayne Levin, Mary Macmillan, Jeera Rattanangkoon, Laura Ruby, Donna Stoner, Reuben Tam, Elizabeth Train, and William Worcester.

Photo from the opening of the exhibition, Voyaging: The Art of Wayfinding at Gallery `Iolani, Windward Community College. In foreground, a sculpture of a double hulled canoe. In background, on the wall are 2 paintings. On the left is one of birds flying against the sky and on the right is a painting of the ocean during a storm.

The opening of Voyaging: The Art of Wayfinding exhibit at Gallery ‘Iolani.