Welcome to the Hawaii State Art Museum
About the Hawaii State Art Museum (HiSAM)
The Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts invites you to visit the Hawai‘i State Art Museum (HiSAM). HiSAM is located on the 2nd floor of the No. 1 Capitol District Building, 250 South Hotel Street, in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii. Admission is always free. The museum is open Monday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, and with extended hours on the first Friday of each month from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., except for state and federal holidays. The museum cafe, Artizen by MW, is open for breakfast and lunch Monday – Friday. The museum shop, HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop x MORI, features artwork and gift items made by local artists and artisans. View some of the best contemporary art from across the state of Hawaiʻi in our exhibits! HiSAM is a venue for the Art in Public Places Program of the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. Most of the collection is on display in public buildings, including libraries, schools, and state offices. Artworks in the collection are primarily contemporary works by artists with a connection to Hawai‘i.
Please note that building renovation activities may include temporary closures of galleries, restaurant, shop, and/or temporary removal of some artworks. If you would like to check on the gallery, restaurant, and shop status before visiting, please call the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts at (808) 586-0300 or the HiSAM Visitor Services Manager at (808) 586-9959.
The Sculpture Garden is also temporarily closed during building renovation activities, and will be open for First Fridays and special events when it is safe to do so.
Museum admission is always free! This includes all museum exhibits, events, and activities. The museum is open Monday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, (with extended hours on the first Friday of each month from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.), except for state and federal holidays.
EMPHASIZED: eye on scale
Through a selection of works from the Art in Public Places Collection, this exhibition explores the various ways that artists play with scale, and how this in turn affects the viewer’s responses and understanding. View sculptures, paintings, prints, and photos large and small, including two massive ceramic heads by Jun Kaneko. 2nd floor, Diamond Head gallery. For more information about the artworks in the exhibit, you can see images and information in our online catalog of artworks: EMPHASIZED: eye on scale.
HAWAI‘I: Change & Continuity
This exhibit tells the story of the past examining the overlapping influences of nature’s bounty and human impact on a fragile environment. View a variety of mediums and techniques in these artworks, including paintings, sculptures, textiles, and photographs. 2nd floor, ‘Ewa gallery. For more information, including a link to an online catalog of the artworks: HAWAI‘I: Change & Continuity. Through June 2019.
Human beings have been at the center of creative expression since the very beginning of the history of art. Throughout this rich and complex history there has been much attention and scrutiny aimed at the female form. This exhibition consists of a selection of works from the Art in Public Places Collection that puts its focus solely on artistic depictions of men. Ideas of masculinity are presented in ways that are sometimes direct, sometimes fictitious, and sometimes symbolic. MEN brings to the forefront a variety of approaches that artists employ to capture, display and express the male form and psyche. 2nd floor, Diamond Head gallery. Through January 2019. For more information about the artworks in the exhibit, you can see images and information in our online catalog of artworks: MEN.
STATE OF ART: new work
This exhibit invites you to engage with a selection of recent additions to the collection from across the Hawaiian Islands. The thirty-one artworks acquired from eighteen exhibitions offer an insight into current trends and themes in the local arts scene and provides an opportunity to see the diversity of works being created in Hawaiʻi today. SFCA Executive Director Jonathan Johnson says “this exhibit is what’s going on in Hawaiʻi through the eyes of artists.” 2nd floor, Diamond Head gallery. Through September 2019. For more information about the artworks in the exhibit, you can see images and information in our online catalog of artworks: STATE OF ART: new work.
The HiSAM Sculpture Garden
On the ground floor of the building was once a recreational area that featured a large swimming pool and bleachers. This area has now been transformed to serve again as an urban oasis. It retains elements that evoke memories of the pool, offering pathways for discovery and sites for reflection. Here in the Sculpture Garden the building, selected plantings, and works of art merge to form a multi-faceted environment that will delight all the senses. CLOSED for your safety during building renovation work, anticipated to re-open later this year. Will also be open for First Fridays (6 – 9 pm) and special events when it is safe to do so.
Friends of the Hawaii State Art Museum and the HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop x MORI Exhibits
The independently operated shop HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop x MORI and the non-profit volunteer group Friends of the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum host their own shows and art events on the ground floor of the No.1 Capitol District Building. Please refer to their websites and social media for the most up-to-date information about their shows, art sales, and fundraisers.
56th Annual Hawai‘i Regional Scholastic Art Awards February 16 – April 19, 2019
Young Artists of Hawai‘i May – June 2019
Exhibits of work in the HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop x MORI on the ground floor are independent of the Hawai‘i State Art Museum. For more information about shop exhibits of artworks, please visit their website: www.shophisam.com
Events & Activities
First Fridays at HiSAM
On the first Friday of each month, the museum galleries are open late, with live entertainment. 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., admission is always free. First Fridays at HiSAM are casual and family-friendly.
Second Saturdays at HiSAM
On the second Saturday of each month, free hands-on art activities for all ages are hosted in the first floor Multipurpose Room. All materials are provided. 11:00 am – 3:00 p.m., or while supplies last.
Free “meet the artist” lecture series held on the last Tuesday of each month. Bring your own lunch (or buy one at Artizen cafe!) and feed your creativity! 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
I Love Art Gallery
During museum hours, the hands-on I Love Art Gallery (2nd floor, Diamond Head gallery) gives visitors of all ages a space to learn about art while having fun with building blocks, books, and more.
Artizen by MW
- Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
- Closed Saturday and Sunday
Daily menu posted at artizenbymw.com
Contact the Cafe
The café is independently operated under a lease agreement between the Friends of the Hawai‘i State Art Museum, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, and the State of Hawai‘i Department of Accounting and General Services.
HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop x MORI
- Monday 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
- Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Closed on Sunday
Contact the Shop
For more information about the shop, please visit their website: HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop
The gift shop is independently operated under a lease agreement between the Friends of the Hawai‘i State Art Museum, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, and the State of Hawai‘i Department of Accounting and General Services.
Parking & Accessible Parking
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, and metered street parking in the area.
Free accessible parking stalls are available in these location 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). 2 hour limit.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- First Friday of each month 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
- Closed Sunday, Monday, and all state and federal holidays.
2018 Holidays & Closures
HiSAM is closed Sunday, Monday, and all state and federal holidays.
- November 6, Tuesday, General Election Day
- November 12, Monday, Veterans’ Day
- November 22, Thursday, Thanksgiving
- December 25, Tuesday, Christmas
2019 Holidays & Closures
HiSAM is closed Sunday, Monday, and all state and federal holidays.
- January 1, Tuesday, New Year’s Day
- January 21, Monday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- March 26, Tuesday, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day
- April 19, Friday, Good Friday
- May 27, Monday, Memorial Day
- June 11, Tuesday, King Kamehameha I Day
- July 4, Thursday, Independence Day
- August 16, Friday, Statehood Day
- September 2, Monday, Labor Day
- November 11, Monday, Veterans’ Day
- November 28, Thursday, Thanksgiving
- December 25, Wednesday, Christmas
Group Tours & School Tours
Free guided group tours and docent-led school tours are available upon request. Please allow up to four weeks in advance when scheduling a group tour. More information available here: HiSAM Tours.
Individuals & Small Groups
For individuals and small groups, free guided tours are available upon request (when docent volunteers are available). Check at the visitor’s desk in the second floor Sculpture Lobby, or call (808) 586-9958.
The Hawai‘i State Art Museum is the “People’s Museum” and belongs to everyone. Please respect those around you by allowing them to enjoy their own museum experience.
- Please refrain from touching the art. Please join us in preserving the artwork for future generations. Artwork can be damaged by even the slightest contact.
- Wheelchair/Stroller Access – Richards Street gate entrance has a walkway leading to the side of the building facing Richards Street. As you come in to the main hallway, turn left to go to the lobby, or turn right to go to the Sculpture Garden. There are two elevators, one on each side of the lobby.
- Smoking and Food – Smoking, including e-cigs, is prohibited throughout State buildings. No food or drink is allowed in the museum galleries.
- Pets – No animals are permitted on state property with the exception of professionally trained service animals.
- Photography – Flash photography is not permitted. Hand-held still and video photography in existing light is allowed in the galleries for private, noncommercial, or educational use (including personal social media accounts). Photography is not permitted in special exhibitions or areas designated as “No Photography.”
- For press, professional, and other special photography, please contact the SFCA’s Public Information Officer, Mamiko Carroll, at (808) 586-0305 or email@example.com. For photo and/or film permits for the building and grounds, please contact Visitor Services Manager Scott Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 586-9959 for more information. For information concerning permissions or photography of works in the Foundation’s Art in Public Places Collection, please contact Collections Manager Wanda Anae-Onishi at email@example.com or (808) 586-9952, or Registrar Ozzie Kotani at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 586-9956. No professional photographs in the museum may be reproduced, distributed, or sold without permission.
Facilities Rental Program
The Hawai‘i State Art Museum is available for rentals for special events and parties. Anyone interested in renting the facilities may request or download a HiSAM Rental Information Packet which contains a Rental Handbook, Rental Request Form, and HiSAM brochure.
Download the Facilities Rental Program Information
For more information: Facilities Rental Program.
Contact the Visitor Services Manager
Telephone: (808) 586-9959
Contact the Museum Cafe
The museum café, Artizen by MW, is also available for rental and/or catering. For more information, please contact Artizen by MW.
Telephone: (808) 524-0499
Contact form on their website: Artizen Private Dining Request.
HiSAM Social Media
Facebook: Hawai‘i State Art Museum
Hashtags: #hawaiistateartmuseum #HiSAMlife
Contact the Museum
Scott Young, Visitor Services Manager
Telephone: (808) 586-9959
The museum is operated as a part of the Art in Public Places Program of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Hawaii’s state government arts agency.
State Foundation on Culture and the Arts
Telephone: (808) 586-0300
Friends of the Hawaii State Art Museum
The Friends of the Hawai’i State Art Museum (Friends of HiSAM) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization established to work effectively with the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA) and its professional staff to enhance and support the work of the museum, its ancillary programs, and amenities.
Objectives for the Friends of HiSAM
In supporting the mission of the SFCA, the Friends of HiSAM have four objectives: (1) expose and engage all grade school students at the museum to the arts in Hawai’i, (2) encourage all high school and college students who are focused on the arts through meaningful events and programs at the museum (3) expose, excite, educate and engage those living in and visiting our state to the art and artists of Hawai‘i through visits to the museum, and (4) assist the SFCA in the recognition of Hawaii’s art and artists.
Friends of HiSAM Recent Exhibits
Most recently, Friends of HiSAM has hosted exhibits of local artists in the seating area of the museum restaurant, Artizen by MW: Harry Tsuchidana: Forgotten Paintings; Across Generations, featuring Satoru Abe, Hamilton Kobayashi, and Kainoa Gruspe; Across Generations II, featuring Ka-Ning Fong and Erin Marquez; Yvonne Cheng: Recent Works; The 2017 HiSAM Portfolio Artists Show; Across Generations: Charles Higa and Michael Teruya; Across Generations: George Woollard, Mary Philpotts, and Kathy Merrill-Kelley; the Hawaii Master Artists Show; and Hawai‘i Artists 2018 Portfolio Project. Friends of HiSAM has also hosted a soft opening for the museum shop, HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop x MORI.
Museum Cafe & Museum Shop Lease Agreements
The museum cafe and museum shop are independently operated under a lease agreement between the Friends of HiSAM and the State of Hawai‘i Department of Accounting and General Services.
The Friends of HiSAM holds an annual meeting which is open to the public.
Contact the Friends of HiSAM
For more information, including membership forms and how to donate and/or volunteer, contact them at:
- email address: email@example.com
- website: friendsofhisam.org
- Facebook page (@hisamfriends)
- Instagram (@hisamfriends).