The Donkey Mill Art Center is honored to present NIUHI-SHARK: Honoring Kamehameha The Great in Paint & Prose featuring original paintings created by Carl F. K. Pao paired with selections from the book Kamehameha–The Rise of a King by Kāwika Eyre with illustrations by Brook Parker. The exhibit was created in 2019 in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of King Kamehameha’s passing in West Hawai`i.
The year 1819 was one of significant transition in Hawai’i. It was the year which witnessed the death of Kamehameha; his beloved wife, Ka‘ahumanu, is said to have tattooed the exact date on her arm: May 8, 1819. It was also the year of the breaking of the ‘ai kapu which freed men and women to eat together. Later that same year, Chief Kekuaokalani, Kamehameha’s nephew fell with his wife Mānono on the battlefield at Kuamo‘o in a last and valiant attempt to defend the kapu system.
Hawai‘i Island is not only the place of Kamehameha’s birth, it is also the beautiful and dramatic setting of much of his life’s story, the source of his power, the home of his final days, and the hidden place of his bundled bones. It is fitting that several civic and social groups including ‘Ahu‘ena Inc.,Royal Order of Kamehameha I, Māmalahoa, Hālau I Ka Leo Ola O Nā Mamo, Kamehameha Publishing, Volcano Art Center, Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i, East Hawai‘i Cultural Center/HMOCA, Kohala Hawaiian Civic Club, Malu ‘Āina-Center for Non-violent Education and Action, Pu‘u Koholā National Park and the Donkey Mill Art Center have joined efforts to mark the significance of Kamehameha’s legacy which continues to reverberate today.
This commemorative exhibit showcases Pao’s artwork with key excerpts from the book Kamehameha–The Rise of a King and illustrations created for the book by artist Brook Parker. The collection provides viewers a visual experience of pivotal events in King Kamehameha’s life and the fascinating perspective from two very different styles of art.
All are invited to hear different perspectives on the life of Kamehameha, his leadership, complex relationships with Ka‘ū chief Keōua, and how we can move into the future with learned from the lessons of the past. in particular his complex relationship with the Ka‘ū chief Keōua. The exhibit and supporting events promise paint, prose, protocol and conversations providing cultural, historical, and educational experiences.
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