VOLCANO -- The
Volcano Art Center Gallery may not be the center of attention at
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, but then its business isnt to
compete with Kilauea volcano, the focus of what is, by far, the
most visited destination on the Big Island.
Yet those who
come to see Kilauea and to walk right up next to its glowing lava
would be remiss not to stop at the gallery just inside the park
The stroll from
the parks visitor center gives a good view of the old shingled
building the gallery calls home.
Built in 1877 as
a replacement for the grass shack that had served as the only hotel
near the volcanos erupting Halemaumau crater, the structure recalls
its frontier past with hand-hewn posts and rafters of native ohia
In its life as a
remote hostelry known as the Volcano House Hotel, the building had
six guest rooms and a common room with an enormous
Today, the rooms
are filled with quality art created by artists who have been
inspired by Kilauea Volcano, many of them from the Big Island, some
from just down the street in Volcano Village, which is dotted with
artists home studios.
Some 250 artists
working in many media show their work in the Volcano Art Center
Gallery. Youll see paintings, photography, ceramics, glass, wood,
fiber, even lava molded while still molten.
Prices range from
$5 for woodblock prints depicting Hawaiian legends to $12,000 for a
giant hand-carved ... well, you just have to see it and decide for
yourself what it is.
And the art flows
outside. On certain days during the year, artists demonstrate their
craft on the gallerys lanai.
not to be aesthetically inspired as you sit on this covered porch,
with mist rolling through the forest, while you learn from a
Hawaiian auntie how to weave a lei made from leaves and flowers
picked from native plants growing nearby.
The nonprofit art
center also sponsors Hawaiian music concerts during the year as
well as workshops on topics ranging from Hawaiian language to
photography, painting, poetry, drama and music. Some of these take
place at the art centers newly opened annex in Volcano Village.
Customized group programs for visitors of all ages can be arranged
through the art center.
The programs also
can take the form of lectures, field trips, visits to artists
studios or performances. The programs can include transportation
and meals if desired.
information, call (866) 967-7565 or visit www.volcanoartcenter.org.
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].