According to the HVCB website: This charming town was once named one of the top 25 arts destinations in the United States.
And, unlike Maui’s other art capital, Lahaina, most of the art you’ll find in Makawao is actually made on Maui, and you’re more than likely to meet the artist as well. Here is a virtual tour/shopping guide to Makawao’s art galleries.
(In Alphabetical Order – click on the name to view the website, if applicable, and click on the shop link to see what’s available to purchase online!)
See the amazing artwork of talented glassblowers Chris Richards and Chris Lowry at this combination gallery and studio. On most days, visitors will find them there creating new pieces right before their eyes. Set back a bit off Baldwin Ave., (near Makawao Steak House), make a point to check out this gallery.
If you’ve been to Lanai in the past decade, you may recall Jordanne’s artwork as the Artist-In-Residence for both Four Seasons Resorts from 2003-2012. In 2012, she moved to Maui to focus on a new collection of work and Plein-Air shows across America. Jordanne is known for her paintings of Hawaiian landscapes, plantation homes, bouquet arrangements and signature gold-leaf pineapple paintings.
The interesting thing about walking into the Julie Galeeva art gallery, right on the corner of Makawao Avenue and Baldwin, is the great variety of works and styles. There’s abstract, impressionist, realist, fantasy… so I asked the guy painting away if this was all Julie’s work, “Yes, she can do anything,” he agreed. He pointed to one corner, “But that’s mine, she lets me have that section… she’s my mom” he added. Wow, two talented artists in this family!
Originally from Australia, Kirsten Bunney has been living and working on Maui since 1987. Kirsten combines pen and ink with gouache and watercolor to express the bright, tropical beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. Kirsten’s unique sense of style and color has been developed from a mix of cross-cultural influences, particularly times spent living in Bali.
Now back where it started- in Makawao, Maui Hands represents over 300 fine artists, artisans, jewelers, woodworkers, glassblowers, potters and sculptors, all 100% local to the state of Hawaii. There’s something in every price range, and don’t miss the jewelry counters. Did we mention the jewelry? Maui Hands has three other locations – Paia, Lahaina and Kaanapali.
If you’ve been around Maui at all, you know the artwork of Sherri Reeve. If not, your next stop in Makawao will change all that. Known for her vibrant and playful watercolors, Reeve opened her Makawao gallery in 1997, where she can often be found greeting her faithful fans and new followers. Her shop is so colorful and cheerful that you just want to stay for a while. Besides wall art, you can find Sherri’s designs on mugs, mousepads, playing cards, soap and more!
Another must-see stop in Makawao is Viewpoints Gallery. There is a constantly changing featured show at this gallery, with the current theme : “It’s all about Hawaii”, which runs June 28 – August 7, 2013, and features the iconic painters Betty Hay Freeland and Suzy Papanikolas. Each artist in this gallery must also be a current resident of the island.
This carefully curated gallery has only been open 4 months, but I hope it will be around for a long time. Just a few of the fun pieces that are made on Maui are Wicked Ono bags, cyanotype on silk pillows and scarves by Gwen Arkin, and these cute journal earrings by Julia Spector.
And another gallery I didn’t get the chance to visit this time: Piero Resta
To keep this from being the longest blog post ever (and it might be, anyway) – I’m just going to hit the highlights of food and beverage in Makawao – all this shopping is bound to make you hungry.
Best use of local ingredients: Market Fresh Bistro – open 9-3:30 (2 on Sunday), some days for dinner (call 572-4877 to confirm hours).
Best Donuts: Komoda’s- there’s no sign near the door of this hole in the wall, when you smell the deliciousness, you’ll know you are there. (closed Wednesday and Sunday)
Best place to sit and enjoy colorful Makawao/catch up on all the local gossip, while enjoying a coffee: Casanova Deli’s outdoor porch (daytime)
Best Wood-fired Pizza: Casanova Restaurant (nighttime- although I do think they serve the pizza for lunch too, I’m just too busy sitting on the porch)
Best Chips & Salsa: Polli’s
Best on-the-run/take-out: Rodeo General Store
And don’t forget to check out Makawao every Third Friday for the evening Town Party
What’s your favorite art gallery/food in Makawao?