Up against the wall

LAWAI — The wall needed to be done by students and needed a Hawaiian theme.

“We put a call out for any high school students interested to come to a meeting where we could discuss the 40-foot mural which needed to be completed in time for First Saturday,” said mural artist Seth Womble on Friday. “Only one person — Gabriel Simmons — came on the first day. He became the project manager.”

Womble said the mural was going to replace the wall adjacent to Pono Market and Larry’s Music since the Wailua Shave Ice red wagon was going to take over the space. It is scheduled to be installed today and completed by the time First Saturday unfolds at 5 p.m.

“The restrictions were that it needed to be done by students, and needed to be a Hawaiian theme,” Womble said. “Gabriel and I talked about it and settled on ‘Gratitude’ featuring a hala mat which is versatile in the Hawaiian culture, being used for everything from mats to building houses.”

As the project got underway Monday, students slowly turned out — Esiah Dillberg, a home schooler, coming on the first day, Grayefen showing up on the second day, and Bronwyn Kay appearing on the third day.

“My mom knew about this project through Facebook,” Grayefen said. “It sounded like a fun thing to do so I came out. My part was to work on the shading and I just thought I’ll try to make it look as good as it can be.”

Grayefen wants to be an animator, so the project provided some experience.

“I learned more about art in the short amount of time I got to spend here,” he said. “It’s especially hard for young people to work at a place where you can gain experience while learning.”

Womble said this mural represents the first of many he plans on doing as community projects.

He recently completed a mural during the three-day span of the Kauai Powwow last week, and since accepting this task, will start teaching high school students about murals at the Kuga studios in Kalaheo starting Oct. 15.

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