KAPAA — Artists spent three days creating a 40-foot-long mural depicting the island’s character on a wall fronting the oceanfront bike path in Kapaa Town — only to paint over it a week later.
The colorful artwork featured large capital block letters spelling “Kapaa” with inset images of jungle fowl, coconuts, hula, wahine and a shaka. But some did not appreciate the painters’ labor or their passion for art.
“The bike path is intended to provide a peaceful walk/ride along the ocean without this kind of visual disturbance,” wrote Kapaa resident, Judith Fernandez, in a letter to the editor. “The ocean and mountains are intended to be appreciated without artificial decorations.”
The mural was voted to be covered up by the community board and the landlord, according to Sean McCrink, co-owner of Yes I Elephit Skate Shop, who commissioned $500 for the two collaborating artists.
The creators repainted the wall Tuesday with plain white paint to accommodate the residents’ request.
David Flores, collaborating painter and team artist for the Kapaa skate shop, has previously created murals along Kuhio Highway and on Oahu that were well-received. He will be participating in “Pow! Wow! Hawaii” in February, where contemporary artists from around the world paint huge murals on the side of Waikiki’s industrial buildings.
Flores still performs live painting demonstrations at Kilauea Art Walk every Saturday and plans to continue expressing himself through his artwork despite the request to cover up the mural.
“We’re just trying to liven up this community,” he said.