Bringing Waimanalo to Kilauea

KILAUEA — Anchored by a scripture on the fireplace chimney, the Koolau mountain range crests across the living room wall with Mount Olomana guarding the hallway.

“We’re originally from Waimanalo on Oahu,” said Jeanne Coloma, the resident occupying the home tucked in the the green vegetagion of Kilauea. “Keone, my husband, is the assistant pastor for U Turn for Christ and we’ve been here for about a year. His favorite bird used to be the chicken, and he loved the mountains we used to see from Waimanalo.”

Enter Cliff Graham of Unison Harvest ministry, originally from Maui, now from Oahu for about a year, he describes himself.

“I met Jeanne when I came to Kauai to talk about another ministry tour,” Graham said. “After talking, I got a hold of Mike Davies from New York, and he, the lead artist, and I decided to bring Waimanalo to Kilauea.”

Friday, the pair worked with urgency.

“We’re leaving in a few hours,” Graham said. “We’ve been working on this for six days, and the Lord only works for six days, not seven.”

The scripture on the fireplace, from Psalm 24, is one of Keone’s favorite, Jeanne said. It forms the centerpiece of the floor-to-ceiling mural flourishing with tropical flavor. Below it, the parchment is heralded by a rooster, a former favorite bird of Keone.

“It started with a white wall,” Jeanne said. “Then, there were pencil sketches all over. Now, this spectacle of nature.”

Graham said the project was not an easy one because Davies, an artist who works with motorcycles and exotic cars, had never been to Hawaii.

“He had never seen a banyan tree,” Graham said. “We had to tour all over and he took a lot of photographs. But look at the life he breathed into the roots of the banyan.”

With time running short, Graham said the final scene will wrap around the wall to overlap some of the kitchen area and the hallway.

“When you look out the kitchen window, you’ll see the Kilauea mountains and your eyes will be guided to the Koolau range and Mt. Olomana,” Graham said. “The ceiling has bamboo thatching, and when the mural is done, it will really bring out the bamboo.”

Jeanne, who describes herself as a painter of chairs, said once the mural is completed and the protective plastic sheeting removed, she will install lava rock veneer to the base of the chimney and have carpeting installed on the floor of the filled-in living room.

“I plan to have some Bankok chairs placed so people are able to fully appreciate this,” Jeanne said. “It’s going to be spectacular.”

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