HiSAM rebrands, launching new events and a new name – Capitol Modern

September 20, 2023
entrance to museum
text goodbye hisam hello capitol modern

September 20, 2023



HONOLULU – The free, contemporary public art gallery of Hawai‘i has evolved and rebranded, debuting a new name, creative gathering spaces and calendar of events. Formerly called the Hawai‘i State Art Museum (HISAM), the name Capitol Modern is meant to better reflect its location in Honolulu’s historic Capitol District and the vibrant modern art experience people have come to love.

Capitol Modern is eager for the public to experience this next chapter in their evolution as the people’s museum, and the opportunity to reach diverse audiences in all Hawai‘i communities.

“We can’t wait to connect more residents and visitors to creative art experiences that reflect modern day,” said Karen Ewald, Interim Executive Director. “Capitol Modern is a museum for the people of Hawai‘i today, the artists of Hawai‘i tomorrow, and everyone interested in exploring diverse voices through art.”

Part of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts Art in Public Places Program, Capitol Modern features an inspiring collection of contemporary art owned by the State of Hawai‘i. This is all possible because of the 1967 visionary legislation called the “Art in State Buildings Law,” which sets aside one percent of State building construction and renovation costs to fund local art acquisition and calls for their display in all State public places. This vision to beautify and humanize our environment by increasing access to public art, while also providing educational visual arts opportunities to the public is brought to life at Capitol Modern.

Visitors to Capitol Modern will experience improved wayfinding, new hours and dynamic events designed to engage both residents and visitors throughout the year, such as their new Passion on Display program featuring a rotation of artists in residence, beginning with O‘ahu-based artist Solomon Enos. Artists also will discover spaces perfect for creatives to gather and connect, with studio and event spaces also available for use.

A robust calendar of happenings is back up and running at Capitol Modern. Look for these upcoming events and current exhibits at capitolmodern.org:

• First Friday on October 6 celebrating Honolulu Pride
• Launch Celebration – The Vibe at Capitol Modern on Friday, October 13
• Super Saturday on October 28 at 11am for hands-on art activities for the whole family
• “Fear of the Unknown” Exhibit in the ‘Ewa gallery (second floor)
• “Accession” Exhibit in the Lē‘ahi gallery (second floor)
• “Creatures & Characters” in the ‘Ewa gallery (second floor)

About Capitol Modern


Capitol Modern is Hawaii’s only free art museum featuring art from the State of Hawaii’s private collection. The museum reflects and evokes the people of Hawai‘i, explores and expresses modern-day perspectives, while continuing to build and evolve its collection through art that reflects Hawaii’s past, present, and future.

For more information, visit Capitol Modern on CapitolModern.org and on social media @CapitolModern.


Kristina Rau
Account Director
Wall-to-Wall Studios
[email protected]

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