Artist Talk with Puakea Forester
Thursday, September 9, 2021 from 6:00 - 7:00PM
Free and open to the public
Join us online for a spirited artist talk with Puakea Forester as she shares her work and journeys in kapa, fiber arts, wood carving, exploration in plant pigments and ʻāina arts education.
Puakea Forester was born in Kahuku, O‘ahu to a woodworker, and an arts and religions professor at BYU-Hawaii. Puakea attended Ka‘a‘awa Elementary School where her kumu hula (teacher) Aunty Kawai Aona-Ueoka, instilled in her a love for hula, and a kuleana (responsibility) in making the kapa.
“There is profound mana held in the memories of our childhood. One such memory was of being a young girl in the mid 80s, watching my kumu singing with the rustling leaves of her wauke as she plucked the side shoots to make for good clean kapa, caressing them, as you would tending to your loved ones.”
When a child bares witness to those in their community tending reciprocal, loving relations between themselves and ʻāina, they see where they too have a familial place amongst the natural world - thereby reducing the impact of colonizing extractive mentalities - resulting in a whole and meaningful sense of self to continue the work of healing and mending broken relationships with nature for our kūpuna (ancestors) & our mo’opuna (grandchildren). Puakea firmly grounds her life work centered upon these principles. With almost 25 years of teaching ages 2 to 101, Puakea brings with her a bold and joyful background in theater for social change, global & indigenous women's studies, ethnobotany, and fiber arts.
The Nā Kapa Kuʻina exhibition and programs are made possible by Spectrum, First Hawaiian Bank, and the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation’s CHANGE Grant. The Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts has approved an Acquisition Award Selection Committee visit to the exhibit.