Approximately 3 miles from downtown Honolulu and 2 miles from the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa, the recently rebuilt Mānoa Public Library is home to The Spirit of Mānoa: In the Light of Day, a cast-glass sculpture designed specifically for the library by artist and professor Rick Mills. The residential neighborhood of Mānoa’s rich and fertile environment, noted for its plentiful rainfall and wind, served as inspiration for this work of art. These five mountain-like forms are an abstract depiction of the interior of Mānoa Valley, referred to as ‘Aka‘aka (laughter) and Waiakeakua (the water of the god).
When asked to reflect on his thoughts about the sculpture recently, Mills said “I think it’s interesting how a sculpture changes, or better said, how my ideas about the sculpture have changed. Physically the perception of it has changed… the palms outside are now as tall as the 2nd floor and give a deep green background to the glass, and the sculpture seems to have been absorbed into the building and become a part of its new history. I’m happy it’s been so well received by the community. I felt and still feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to create this sculpture.”
Rick Mills received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 1986. Mills is a glass and metal sculptor who has served as Professor of Art at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa since 1989.
The Art in Public Places Collection can be viewed online and searched by artist name, artwork title, type of media, and more: Search the Art in Public Places Collection. You can also search the Public Art Archive or the Locate Public Art web app for permanently installed artworks in the collection, such as sculptures at public buildings.