Antes y AhoraOnly minutes from downtown Honolulu's famed Iolani Palace, visitors can enjoy one of the city's best museums absolutely free, and through next July, some of Hawaii's most talented artists will be on display at the building's Individual Artists Fellowship exhibition.

Opened in fall 2002, the Hawaii State Art Museum showcases work collected for the state's Art In Public Places program, exhibiting pieces purchased with taxpayer funds. Always a great place to enjoy first-rate visual art, the museum's current IAF show features a varied array of disciplines, including the work of painters, sculptors, printmakers, musicians, dancers, playwrights, composers, theater directors and conceptual artists.

First awarded in 1995, the Individual Arts Fellowship has since been given to 56 Hawaii-based individuals pursuing visual and performing arts. Made up of past works by a broad collection of the IAF awardees, the exhibit also includes some of the artists' more recent efforts displayed using traditional museum design along with recorded music stations, videos of performances and multimedia installations.

Given all the different disciplines, the show presented a challenge for the museum's senior exhibit specialist, James Kuroda.

"It was really difficult for me as a designer because there were so many themes and so many artists and so many styles," he said. "Just the variety of sizes alone was a real headache."

An excellent opportunity for visitors to see examples of the creative, contemporary work being created in Hawaii, the exhibition is also a chance for residents to see where their tax dollars are going.

"I'd like people to walk away from the show in part with a sense of pride knowing that we have this caliber of artists in the Islands and also pride that we have them in the state's public collection," Kuroda said. "Because in the end, the work really belongs to them."

For more about the museum and the IAF show, visit

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