Exhibit: “Creatures and Characters” at the State Art Museum

August 2, 2023

About the “Creatures and Characters” exhibit

The “Creatures and Characters” exhibit at the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum (HiSAM) highlights a variety of narrative artworks from the Art in Public Places Collection of the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA). Through a diverse mix of media and artistic approaches, the depictions of creatures and characters suggest stories and ideas that unfold in surprising, unusual, and amusing ways. “Creatures and Characters” has been jointly curated by Elizabeth Baxter (SFCA Art in Public Places Program Curator), Shirley Lam (SFCA Hawaiʻi State Art Museum Education Coordinator), and Loke Simon (SFCA Art Bento Museum Guide). While the exhibit is for all audiences, this curation team kept the SFCA Art Bento at HiSAM program in mind, including artworks with strong narrative qualities. The museum is a learning laboratory for thousands of public and charter school students every year in the Art Bento program, using artworks to practice observation, critical thinking, and communication skills.

The forty-four artworks by thirty-nine artists include “Mexican Mother and Child” by Jean Charlot and “Phyllis Dobson” by Diego Rivera. Both of these artworks were gifted to the state collection.

Exhibit dates: August 4, 2023 – summer 2024.

Image Gallery

A selection of five artworks in the exhibit. Click on the image for a larger view.

Artists in the exhibit

Kathleen Adair Brown, Jean Charlot, Martin Charlot, Justin Davies, Kimberly De Souza, Solomon Enos, Richard Frooman, Karen Gally, Phillip Garrett, Juli Haas, Todd Herzberg, Susan Hogan, Claude Horan, Katya Hutchinson, Virginia Jacobs, Phil Jung, Wayne Levin, Lisa Louise Adams, Rodrigo Manzano, Jackie Mild Lau, Elizabeth Miller, Shigeru Miyamoto, Marcia Morse, Brandon Ng, Ray Nitta, Diego Rivera, Debra Rosenbaum, Fred Roster, Johannette Rowley, Mamoru Sato, Esther Shimazu, Sidney T K Yee, Randall Takaki, John Tanji Koga, Ella Tokunaga, Ivan Treskow, Ernest Trova, Shannon Webb, Suzanne Wolfe

About the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum

The Hawaiʻi State Art Museum (HiSAM) is a free public art museum within the SFCA Art in Public Places Program. As a part of this public art program, the museum features exhibitions curated from the State’s Art in Public Places Collection and from student exhibitions.

The museum is in the No. 1 State Capitol Building, near the State Capitol, ʻIolani Palace, and the State Library. Admission is always free. Monday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., with evening hours during First Friday and other events.

Transportation and Parking

Public Transportation

  • TheBus – many bus routes stop directly in front of or very close to the museum. For routes and schedules, call TheBus at (808) 848-5555 or check online at www.thebus.org.
  • The Waikiki Trolley – the Red Line State Capitol/Iolani Palace Stop is a short walk from HiSAM. For more information, call the Waikiki Trolley at (808) 591-2561, or check online at www.waikikitrolley.com.
  • Biki Bikeshare – the closest Biki racks are directly in front of the building on South Hotel St. (120 Chinatown/DT – Hotel & Richards), and at the corner of Richards and South Beretania St (121 Chinatown/DT – Beretania & Richards).
  • Bicycle Racks – nearby Honolulu City & County bike racks are on South Hotel St. near Alakea St., on Richards St. near South Hotel St., and on the lawn between the Hawai‘i State Capitol building and Iolani Palace.


There is no parking on site. Parking is available at nearby lots, including across Hotel street in the Ali‘i Place building (enter at 1099 Alakea Street, cash only), across Richards Street at Iolani Palace, the Kalanimoku Building, Kinaʻu Hale/Department of Health, State Capitol basement, Honolulu City Municipal Parking, and metered street parking in the area.

Accessible parking

Free accessible parking stalls are available in these locations for persons with disabilities:

  • Iolani Palace grounds (one stall near the Richards Street exit, one stall near the State Archives building, and one stall near the gate leading to the State Capitol)
  • Ali‘i Place building parking structure (vehicle entrance at 1099 Alakea Street, pedestrian entrance/exit on South Hotel Street directly across from the Hawai‘i State Art Museum). Cash only.
  • State parking lots allow metered spaces in those lots to be used as accessible parking, with a 2 hour limit. Nearby state parking lots include the State Capitol (415 South Beretania Street and Punchbowl Street), and the Kalanimoku Building (corner of Beretania Street and 1151 Punchbowl Street). For a full list of state government parking lots and a map, please visit the Automotive Management Division webpage. In order to use the spaces, vehicles must display the appropriate placard issued to individuals.

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